Survival of the Richest – Skye Warren

Welcome back, this week I managed to read one of the books in my TBR pile. This book is about a young girl who is rich, but not in control of the money and has two rich guys competing for her attention. It sounds intriguing doesn’t it?

Well we started out with a 15 yr old girl heading to her dad’s yacht for spring break hoping for once that there isn’t a new wife. Unfortunately there is a new wife, and this some there’s a college aged kid involved as well. Given that she’s still in high school I’m not sure it’s entirely appropriate for two rich guys to be fighting over her…

Luckily it turns out that this was setting the scene for the rest of the book. Through a series of letters between Harper (the young girl) and Christopher (the college aged kid) we fast forward 3 years to when Harper is going to college. It feels like they might get together at this point in time. But Christopher always being the “good man” doesn’t take advantage of Harper and let’s things be. This felt a little silly to me given that he’d just travelled all the way to NYC to see Harper’s art exhibit and kissed her. But boys will be silly and mess things up for themselves.

Since her dad died that night I can kinda understand why he backed off. But his treatment of her at the reading of the Will seemed a little over the top. Getting Harper to dislike him wasn’t hard, but I don’t think he needed to quite dig the knife in her back in quite the way he did. Harper understandably stays with her mum and does everything she can to ensure they are supported so that she doesn’t have to marry a rich guy just to get by. Which is going to be pretty hard to do since the Will stipulated that she can access her trust for things like education and living costs. So long as it’s used for her, and her alone. With Christopher to oversee it and ensure no money is spent to care for anyone other than Harper.

By this part of the book we’ve barely started. Does that give you an indication of how much more there is in this book? I really do love a book that gives you enough back story to get what’s happening, without focusing on it too much so that we can still enjoy the rest of the story. In this case the story is 4 years later, Harper is now 22, and Christopher hasn’t paid a credit card bill like he was meant to. And Harper is pissed. Cue the introduction of guy number two. Sutton. Turns out he’s Christopher’s business partner and loves to see shit hit the fan and is helping Harper so he can see Christopher lose his shit.

Which doesn’t happen. At least not immediately. Sutton pursues Harper, and they do get pretty hot and heavy without doing the deed. It seems every time they get close, Christopher interupts them and makes a big song and dance about how Harper should stay away from Sutton because he’s a bad guy. Since Christopher is a pretty controlling guy who always expects things to be done his way I can understand why Harper doesn’t want to go to him. Even though she is still in love with him. Just coz she’s in love with him doesn’t mean she has to put up with that controlling behaviour. So good on Harper for getting out of there!

On the other hand Sutton takes her out, holds her hand, let’s her make decisions and plays around. He seems like the obvious choice for Harper. But love is a strange thing. Especially when Sutton is willing to hurt himself to try and make Harper happy. I mean, in reality how often does that happen? For the sake of leaving some mystery to the book if you chose to read it I won’t tell you what he does that leaves me completely confused and unsure where the book was going. But if you read it I’m sure you’ll know where I started to get lost and unsure. It was bad enough I actually wasn’t sure if I’d finish the book because it just seemed so weird and out of place and just wrong.

But I decided to finish it since I was about 80-85% of the way through the book already. And I can say, it doesn’t end up being what I thought it’d be, but it’s still weird. Harper ends up going back to her mum and she tries to move on. Except she has to go back one more time and do one last painting. And I love the work she does. She paints Cleopatra who was in a similar situation as an act of defiance and feminine power against the patriarchy. I love the passion behind her drive to paint her even though she knew she’d get destroyed anyway. It just felt so right and so powerful in the only way she really knew how to be.

And I loved that the book ended on the same note as this final painting. It just felt right. There is a second book that I think I will get and review in the coming months. This one is a duet so there is only the two books and I really want to know what happens next!

In the mean time I will be reading “Sweet Addiction” by J. Daniels next week. I hope you enjoyed this review and I look forward to seeing you all again next week!

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An Unconventional Affair – Mollie Blake

Welcome back all, this review is one of many book tour review’s I’m participating in over the next couple of months So be prepared for lot’s of blurbs, author bios etc and potentially weird posting dates to fall in line with the availability on the tours. However, where possible I will stick to my regular posting day, Monday’s.

I hope you will enjoy this review as it’s only a very newly published book! I always envied those that got to read books and provide a review before they were released. And now I’m discovering that I can be one of those people. As such, I’d just like to say a massive thankyou to Rachael and the authors that utilise her reach to allow us to read and review these books before they are released to the public.

Also, I’m normally quite late to the party and end up reading a book in a series way after it’s finished or most of the way through and end up raving about something that other’s have known about for quite some time.

So to know that I’ve read the first book in this series before it’s released is pretty amazing and a first for me. And this first book set me up to expect a pretty good second book!

And on to my review, but don’t forget to read all the way down to see details of a prize giveaway!

I read this book in a little over a day as I spent my time lazing in the sun. And to read about how an older woman overcomes domestic violence to become a single mum who raises a boy who graduates high school and then university. Except right as  he’s about to graduate uni one of his friends falls for his mum. And that’s where the “Unconventional Affair” comes from.

Except it’s not as dirty as it seems it is. In reality it’s just a young guy who falls for an older woman and the fight they have to prove themselves as a legitimate couple. Even to each other. And then next thing we know Barrington moves to Melbourne, Australia (where I just have to say, no one except the most bogon of bogons ACTUALLY uses the word “Sheila”, when will international authors finally get that we are the same as them?! We’re not some weirdo species with another name for our women!) and starts a new life.

Anyway I didn’t find this book as “unconventional” as the title suggested. However I DID find the unexpected crime quite interesting! Given the blurb I wasn’t expecting anything more than a standard romance but this one really had me on tenterhooks by the end of it!

I look forward to the next one being released so that I can read that one and see what happens to Barrington and Tee!

If you’ve enjoyed this review don’t forget to check out the others that are participating in this blog tour and you can see the details below:

And on to my review, but don’t forget to read all the way down to see details of a prize giveaway!

I read this book in a little over a day as I spent my time lazing in the sun. And to read about how an older woman overcomes domestic violence to become a single mum who raises a boy who graduates high school and then university. Except right as  he’s about to graduate uni one of his friends falls for his mum. And that’s where the “Unconventional Affair” comes from.

Except it’s not as dirty as it seems it is. In reality it’s just a young guy who falls for an older woman and the fight they have to prove themselves as a legitimate couple. Even to each other. And then next thing we know Barrington moves to Melbourne, Australia (where I just have to say, no one except the most bogon of bogons ACTUALLY uses the word “Sheila”, when will international authors finally get that we are the same as them?! We’re not some weirdo species with another name for our women!) and starts a new life.

Anyway I didn’t find this book as “unconventional” as the title suggested. However I DID find the unexpected crime quite interesting! Given the blurb I wasn’t expecting anything more than a standard romance but this one really had me on tenterhooks by the end of it!

I look forward to the next one being released so that I can read that one and see what happens to Barrington and Tee!

If you’ve enjoyed this review don’t forget to check out the others that are participating in this blog tour and you can see the details below:

An Unconventional Affair Full Tour Banner

Also, we have a quick bio on our proud author with some links to her social media in case you’re interested in seeing what she’s up to.

Mollie Blake is a published author of contemporary romance. A lover of reading sexy stories, Mollie decided to go one step further and write her own. Her romances are filled with danger and peppered with hot sexy scenes. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and UK Romantic Novelists Association.

https://www.facebook.com/mollie.blake.54/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/mollieblakeauth/

https://www.instagram.com/mollieblake.author/

Giveaway – Win a set of all 4 of Mollie Blake’s books, plus a lip balm and hand cream (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494125/?

I hope you have enjoyed this review. And I will see you next week for a review on “Lightweight” by Kirsty McManus.

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Unshackled – Rachael Stewart

Welcome back all, I hope you’re looking forward to this bonus post. I chose to participate in this book tour because domestic and family violence is a topic that is rarely discussed in it’s dirty and truthful facts and I was interested to see how Rachel Stewart addressed this. However reading this novel I was really surprised and I was really happy to read how Rachael wrote this.

When signing up for this book tour I was given all these warnings about how domestic violence is portrayed in this novel, and that it might be tough to read etc to I was expecting to read some pretty gruesome details. But I was pleasantly surprised when the details were kept to a minimum and we explore the aftermath of these events rather than the events themselves. So I commend Rachael for this, it allows for the book to be pleasurable to read while also addressing real life issues and concerns that many people face. I also liked the fact that she didn’t explore just the physical aspect of domestic and family violence, but also the mental and financial control that can play a part in these circumstances.

So let’s get into the nitty gritty of the book then! We start of with Abi when she first meets Emma and it’s instant attraction. Only problem is Abi has never been attracted to women before. So what is she meant to do? Having known women who were only attracted to men and then met a particular woman who attracted them and resulted in a relationship I was curious to see how Abi would deal with these emotions and the confusion it would inevitably bring along with it. What I quickly figured out was that this seemed to be a matter of love at first sight kind of deals and that Abi was sick of living under her step fathers rule but didn’t know how to leave that control without loosing her lifestyle.

So what is Abi to do? Every time Abi and Emma hook up and her stepfather finds out about it Emma get’s punished. Physically. So not only is he controlling Abi’s access to money and therefore her lifestyle, he is also emotionally, financially and physically controlling Emma in order to garner more business deals to increase his current wealth. Up to the physical control Emma is ok with this as she chose to lead her life like that, however she never intended for a guy to control her physically. So when that starts happening she’s prepared to walk away.

After a fair bit of drama where both Abi and Emma are abused further by Abi’s stepfathers associates they finally seem to make the break they are looking for. Only to have the good doctor and stepfather find them and break in to physically take control of them once again. Luckily Abi seems to have been able to keep her head clear and calls for help which results in the physical safety of both women.

I can’t begin to imagine what real life victims of domestic violence go through before they choose to finally leave, or what they go through emotionally afterwards. I’m glad Rachael showed me a little bit about what they could potentially go through. Her writing style really wrapped me up in the story and got me involved to the point where I made my partner cook dinner just so I could finish the book.

I just wanted to know it ended ok, and I wanted to know what happened to both women after experiencing that. In a way I’m glad Rachael didn’t try to explore their emotional and mental states after going through that trauma as I’m sure it wouldn’t do it justice compared to what those victims actually feel. But I’m also kinda disappointed because maybe then it’d help make people realise that there are more forms of domestic and family violence than just the physical abuse.

Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed reading this novel and I’m glad I decided to go ahead with this one as I know it’s a topic not many people are willing to face. It’s almost like people try to brush this topic under the carpet so I commend Rachael for addressing it head on. And I hope for those people that read this they can gain some form of insight into the various forms of domestic and family violence and can be more empathetic to those who find themselves trapped by these situations.

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers reviewing this book this week, details below:

If you’re interested in reading this book (and I recommend that you do) you can find it at the following locations, so I’ve included the link to Smashwords here for you.

Now a little bit about Rachael:

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heart-warmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

Despite a degree in Business Studies and spending many years in the corporate world, the desire to become an author never waned and it’s now her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.rachaelstewartauthor.com

Twitter: @rach_b52

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rachaelstewartauthor/

And finally! As we often see with blog tours there’s some free giveaways for anyone that’s interested!

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Rafflecopter

FINALLY! I hope you’ve enjoyed the surprise post. At the time this post is released I will be wondering around Queenstown in New Zealand so I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and I will see you again in my next post.

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Dangerous Waters – Anne Allen

Welcome back to another Guernsey Book novel by Anne Allen. I read this one accidentally when I was meant to read A Family Divided. And I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed this book right from the get go and was really intrigued by the combination of historically accurate information that was woven into the story in way that made it feel seamless.

We start off with our main character Jeanne returning to Guernsey for the first time in 15 years and she’s experiencing a panic attack due to the reminder of the death of her parents, which she witnessed. I can’t say I’ve experienced this myself but I can empathise with her because it can be quite difficult to return to somewhere that was tarnished with difficult memories. Unfortunately some guy decides to be a bit of a dick and accuses her of being drunk when she stumbles due to her panic attack. Luckily, she has some family friends on the island that she is staying with who support her upon her return. Even though she doesn’t seem to want to lean on them too much it’s good that she’s got them there for her when she needs them. Some people have a support system and choose not to use them, while others desperately need them but don’t have them. Out of both of these options, I’d definitely rather have the system and not need it so that when I need it I know it’s there for me.

She manages to get herself settled in her grandmothers cottage (she passed on and that’s why she’s returned) while she prepares the place to sell, since she has no intention of staying in a place with so many bad memories. While staying here she discovers a number of recipes going back to her French restaurateur ancestors which inspires her to write a cooking/ romance novel based on her families history on Guernsey Island during the war.

While researching for her novel and managing the renovation of the cottage she learns some dark secrets about her families past, including a love affair with a German soldier, while also working on hypnosis to regain memories of the night she witnessed her parents murder. I personally found this fascinating to read about because I have a little bit of a love affair with history and love learning about something I didn’t know about previously. During this time she dates her crush from high school until she starts to feel a little uncomfortable and stalked. At which point she ends things and accidentally ends up dating the guy who accused her of being drunk when she first arrived. And I can’t blame her for this given the relationship she got out of not long before coming back to Guernsey. Given that experience I’m all for date around casually, and when you feel ready commit. Don’t commit just because for once a guy is ready to commit! What if he’s crazy and you end up in an even worse position than you were in before? So it made me happy when she recognised what SHE wanted and followed her gut feeling, her head and her heart. Which luckily all agreed on the one thing, to dump the high school crush and move on to the nice guy you’ve been having lunch with.

One thing leads to another, and he ends up looking after her and protecting her from the people who killed her parents. The people who killed her parents even tried to kill her but luckily her love interest saves her and brings her to safety. I really feel for her when this happens, because not only is she terrified of being in a boat after her parents death. But the same people who killed her parents also try to kill her on a boat. And by a stroke of luck she’s able to call her new boyfriend to come and save her. After he saves her it doesn’t take much to sort out the mystery of her parents killers and bring them to justice.

And then as with any romance novel she wins the guy, her career kicks off and her family life takes a massive turn for the better. Although the following books don’t follow the same character’s; some of the characters we met in this book will also feature in the rest of the series. I’ve mentioned this in the “Family Divided” book, but I really enjoyed reading both these books and definitely plan to come back to this series to finish reading it. If you enjoy romance novels with a bit of history woven in you will probably like it one.

Thankyou for reading this weeks post, and I will see you next with for “The Wedding Season” by Samantha Chase. As always, please visit the actual post (I’d love to know how many people are reading these posts!), like, comment and share 🙂

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One Summer Weekend – Juliet Archer

This one is a pretty new book and I feel honoured to bring you a review about it. Today I’m going to start with a quick blurb about the book then I will get into my thoughts about this one!

I began reading this book at the start of the Queens Birthday long weekend, for those of you not in the Commonwealth that basically means we get an extra day off work just the Queen of England wants to celebrate her birthday. Which for us Aussies just means we get another day to drink and relax. This year I took the opportunity to have a mini-getaway with my partner since we won’t be having a mid year holiday together. And because we are a super cute and romantic couple our mini-getaway was basically spent walking around Daylesford in rural Victoria before I spent a good 2 hours or so soaking in the spa bath having my glass of wine topped up regularly while he watched UFC on the tv.

Now I’m gona guess that some of you are probably thinking “but what has that got to do with this book?”. For me, everything. I believe that the time and place you read a book can really impact how you enjoy it. Since this book is shorter (or at least it felt shorter) than most of the books I’ve been reading recently I felt a great sense of achievement when I realised I’d read like half the book while relaxing in the bath. And since Daylesford is a really quiet, romantic type of town (after you get through the stupid tourists that seem to forget that there are other people around) made especially so by our secluded villa with a fireplace (since it’s winter here the fireplace was very much appreciated!).

So already being in a romantic frame of mind I felt I was really able to enjoy this short, sweet story between a modern day woman fighting against the “old school” mens club mentality by building her career off of coaching them how to manage their companies better. And then we also have a guy that initially comes across as your typical young playboy who’s had too much money and power all his life and is enjoying it much to much to ever contemplate changing or listening to an attractive woman.

What I thought was a great twist was that it seemed that for once the man was more in tune with his true feelings than the woman was. And that the woman was all wrapped up in her own past, insecurities and negativity to be able to move forward. Even when the object of her past that is holding her back reappears and tries to make things worse she manages to wake up an triumph against it. Which of course, since this is a romance novel means the happy couple end up together.

How they got together in the end irked me a little bit because they end up deciding that they will just up and take time off work without any notice or planning. I don’t know if this annoys be because of my OCD need to plan those types of things out. Or whether it’s because I feel like I’m often left having to pick up the pieces when someone decides 2 weeks to a month out from their holiday that they are going to go away regardless of what is happening at the time. But I guess it’s just a novel so I shouldn’t read to much into that aspect of it.

The rest of it was beautifully written, simple and allowed me to really just relax and enjoy my romantic weekend away which wouldn’t have been complete if I didn’t have a good book.

Now that the long weekend is finished I will see you next week with a review of another Guernsey Novel. This time it is “Dangerous Waters” by Anne Allen.

Also, don’t forget to check out the other blogs participating in this Book Tour, the author bio (below) and you can enter a draw to win copies of “The Importance of being Emma” and “Persuade Me” (also below)!

Author Bio –

Juliet Archer writes award-winning romantic comedy for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. She has been known to spend many happy hours matching irresistible heroes with their equally irresistible chocolate counterparts – watch out for the dark nutty ones!

Her debut novel, The Importance of Being Emma, won the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her second novel, Persuade Me, was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award.

Juliet’s third book, One Summer Weekend, is out in June 2018. You can also read her short stories: Incense & Insensibility in the Choc Lit Love Match anthology, and Love Rules in Choc Lit’s Kisses & Cupcakes anthology.

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire. She gives talks all over the UK and in the USA about the classic authors who inspire her work. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of first-hand research for her novels.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/julietarcher

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/juliet.archer.77/

Giveaway – Win PB Copies of The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949490/?

 

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The Family Divided – Anne Allen

Welcome to my first ever Book Tour! I hope you enjoy it, so please like and share this if you’ve enjoyed the experience!

So I was silly enough to read the first book in this series before reading this one as scheduled so I’ve felt like I’ve been on a big deadline finishing reading this one to stay on track with my weekly posts. So I will be posting about the first week next week. So if you’ve liked the sound of this book and Anne’s writing, tune in next week to read more about this series.

Also, for those of you who may be new to my reviews be warned, I may spoil a few things but I also try to keep the mystery there for you so that you won’t know everything that happens if you choose to read these books yourself.

So into the book!

Reading this one I found that it did change who it followed from the first book, and when I was told about this series I was advised that each book can be read as a stand alone book and I agree with them. There were a few characters from the first book in this book as well so it was nice to see how their lives had progressed over time.

This book is the fourth book in the series so I fully plan to go back and read the second and third books. Which already tells you that I liked this book! (And the first one!) This book follows Charlotte; an English aristocrat, owner of a publishing company and a first time writer; and Andy a local architect. This couple is a little older than the first book, and I like how Anne adjusted her writing to suit them.

Charlotte is visiting Guernsey to recuperate so she can go home and focus back on her writing as she’s experiencing a pretty bad bout of writers block. While visiting La Folie she hears about Andy wanting to solve an old family mystery which has resulted in his father being shafted out of his rightful inheritance. Andy obviously isn’t so crash hot on the idea of some hoitey toitey rich English woman nosing around his families past but reluctantly agrees to let her research as Jeanne, a close family friend assured him that Charlotte is a great researcher and would be invaluable.

Given how reluctant Charlotte was to admit she was attracted to Andy and how much Andy resents Charlottes upbringing and money it felt impossible for them to come together. Especially as both had been married and burnt in the past. Having experienced being burnt in the past I can totally understand being reluctant to jump into something new and exciting. And Anne really does explore the various reasons for being nervous and the to-ing and fro-ing that happens when you meet someone new, and you don’t want to come across too strong but at the same time want to make sure they know you’re interested.

I really enjoyed reading how Charlotte had to battle with her own personal battles, researching the German Occupation for Andy, figuring out her feelings for Andy and interviewing the elderly to solve multiple family secrets hidden in Andy’s families past.

Throughout this book I felt myself cringing at the awkward moments between Charlotte and Andy, feeling for Charlotte with how her mum treats her since for a long time I felt I had a very similar relationship with my mum and at the same time was telling Charlotte that she was being an idiot and needed to just face her fears head on and embrace the changes to her lifestyle! Sometimes money, position and comfort aren’t everything in life and when it’s not you just need to embrace the change, roll with it and enjoy the ride. Which thankfully Charlotte decides to do.

While experiencing this roller coaster ride with Charlotte I felt myself I was trying to figure out what the hell happened with Andy’s grandfather and father to cause all the issues we’ve heard about. So when we finally find all the details out by the end of the book I felt like I should be jumping up and down in excitement and jubilation over FINALLY getting the answer I’d been craving since the start of the book.

The only thing I would’ve liked to get out of the book that I didn’t was to find out how it went with Andy’s dad’s claim to the family estate. Also, I would have preferred for the language used when characters talk to each other to be less formal and more colloquial since it just didn’t quite feel right.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you have enjoyed it stay tuned for next weeks post on “Behind the Door” by A. Gavazzoni and I will come back to “Dangerous Waters”which is the first book in the series in a few weeks.

On a final note, for those of you who regularly read my posts through your emails I would love it if you’d click on the links to visit the actual page. I know sometime’s it seems a little silly but I’d love to see how many of you are enjoying these posts and I can’t do this if you haven’t visited the actual posts. If you have the time, please do visit the pages so I know if you’re enjoying my posts as much as I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you.

Until next week, and don’t forget to check out the info below about the author, series and even a chance to win a holiday! 🙂

Win a two-night break

Courtesy of The Guernsey Novels by Anne Allen

Would you like to visit gorgeous Guernsey? Well, here is your chance to win a two-night trip to this beautiful island, courtesy of Anne Allen, author of the riveting book series, The Guernsey Novels.


The Guernsey Novels

Anne Allen’s fascinating book series, The Guernsey Novels, comprises six standalone novels. All the stories in her novel series, take place predominantly on the island of Guernsey and are linked by characters popping up from one book to another.

They provide an ongoing story of a ‘village’ spread, so far, over 6 years. Each book is standalone with fresh new lead characters with their own links to the German Occupation during World War 2, having an impact on the present.

The Guernsey Novels are a mix of mystery, family drama, and love story and influenced by the author’s love of the island where she spent many happy years. Guernsey itself is always a main character in the books, offering a gorgeous backdrop to all the sorrows, joys and tragedies she describes.

The Guernsey Novels are available from all leading bookstores:

Book #1 Dangerous Waters

Book #2 Finding Mother

Book #3 Guernsey Retreat

Book #4 The Family Divided

Book #5 Echoes of Time

Book #6 The Betrayal


About the Author Anne Allen

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea.

Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there’s more time to write and Anne has now published six books in The Guernsey Novels series. She will be publishing her seventh novel later in the year.


To find out more about Anne visit her website: you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.



Enter the prize draw to win a two-night break at Hotel Ziggurat in Guernsey

Enter The Guernsey Novels Prize Draw

Read more details about the prize draw, including the Terms and Conditions on Anne Allen’s Website


Blog Tour Organised by The Globeflower Agency Ltd

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The Seven Steps to Closure – Donna Joy Usher

Welcome back, this week I read The Seven Steps To Closure by Donna Joy Usher. I started this book while on the plane back home after finishing up Bleddyn Hall and I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of this book because I’ve never read anything that started off with a heartbroken woman. But this was a surprisingly great book and had me hooked in so bad I stayed up until midnight two nights in a row even though I needed to get up for work at 6am. It was worth it though! It was worth crashing and being ridiculously tired the day after I finished the book at midnight, just so I could finish the book.

 

We started off with Tara who is heartbroken a yr after she left her husband after finding out he was cheating on her. With her cousin. At this stage she’s just had her 30th birthday and finds out her husband is already engaged to before she’s even received any divorce papers. What kind of a guy cheats on their wife, let alone with her cousin who she had previously been really close to?!

 

To try and help her get over Jake and allow her to regain control of her life, her 3 girlfriends encourage her to complete the 7 steps to closure from an article in Cosmo. Tara is a little hesitant to do this not thinking it would help. However she realizes that she needs all the help she can get at this stage an agrees to complete all 7 steps to closure. I’m sure most of us have been there at some point in our lives. And it sucks. The fact that she’s got 3 awesome girlfriends there to support her and help her get over her ex is amazing, and more than some people have when in similar situations.

 

The first 2 steps are really quite simple and I was surprised Tara hadn’t already done this as many woman will get a new haircut and wardrobe after a breakup to allow themselves to feel better and more empowered. But I gota say, I was surprised by step 4! Have meaningless sex. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and can go against some peoples beliefs and values so it can be really tricky. Plus if you don’t do this with the right type of guy it can even be detrimental to the healing process. So I’m kind of surprised that Cosmo would recommend women have meaningless sex!

 

Luckily Tara doesn’t sleep with just anyone and passes on a few guys that sounded really creepy. She is however committed to having meaningless sex and so goes out to have drunk meaningless sex. By the sound of what she remembers she found the right type of guy to do this with. And she seems to have held up well the morning after which was a relief to hear.

 

At this stage her friends give her her passport back so she can organise step 5, which is to take an adventurous holiday! Here I was thinking she’d be jetting off in like 3-6 months because that’s normally how long I’d spend organising a holiday since you need to get time off work, flights, hotels etc. I guess having one of her best friends as her boss meant she had more flexibility than most and could organise a holiday to head off in a few short weeks. Now me personally could never do this. My OCD and need to control details would leave me a stressed out wreck trying to organise a holiday on such short notice. But Tara manages it and jet’s off to India to stay with her ex-brother-in-law who also happens to hate Tara’s ex Jake.

 

Fate seems to have kicked in and on the way to India the guy sitting next to her keeps bumping into her, looking at her and overall making her feel uncomfortable. Until he tells her that he was her one night stand. At which point she becomes mortified, which had me feeling mortified along with her. Having to face your one night stand and having to admit that you couldn’t remember them aren’t exactly easy things to do. Luckily he seems pretty cool about it and even proposes that they do some sight seeing together. I started to get a little skeptical about Tara’s safety at this stage. Because to me this seems like a silly thing to do. Although that might just be because of all the crime based tv show’s I’ve watched where the careless girl inevitably gets kidnapped and/ or killed by the hot friendly guy she barely knows.

 

Good news is, while out with her ex-brother-in-law it turns out Matt is also friends with him. So he can’t be that bad! And after a turn of events Matt ends up having Tara tag along with him to see some of India’s sights. Along this trip there are some cringe-worthy moments where I really feel for Tara and I feel like she had to have ruined any chance of ticking off step number 6, have meaningful sex, with Matt. I mean, she got food poisoning and spent a night on the toilet which is bad enough as it is. To then have Matt offer to slide her book to her since she’s likely to be there and offer to put the TV on really loudly so she doesn’t feel as self-conscious has got to kill any feelings in that department, surely right?

 

And if that didn’t, you’d think tripping and landing on a pile of cow shit would definitely do it! Nope. Tara is one lucky girl where none of these things turn Matt off of her. And I sat there thinking, I couldn’t even get a kiss out of my partner when I went through this for almost a day and she gets sex and a relationship within a day of having food poisoning? Life is definitely not fair, and I found myself a little jealous that Tara could just jet off to India, meet a cute guy (ok technically it’s re-meet) on the plane and get to have her very own tour guide take her around to all the best places on just a few weeks or days notice!

 

And then when they got back to Sydney it all falls apart. And I gota say, I was secretly happy that this happened. Then started to feel bad when I found out that she had to publicly watch and hear how both her ex’s were moving on with their lives by getting married to other women.

 

With some encouragement from her friends, Tara ends up trying to crash Matt’s wedding to object to the marriage. Except she rocks up just a little bit late to then be hit in the leg with a golf ball from her ex husband Jake, to then swallow a bee who stung her tongue when she falls to the ground. Which meant that she needed an ambulance since her tongue and face became quite swollen. This really shows that she seems to get hit with the unlucky stick quite a lot. Which really allowed me to feel like I was her. Because I felt so similar to her.

And if she can get her happily ever after, maybe I can as well. Even if I am hard to get along with at times, seem to get hit with the unlucky stick quite a bit and that I don’t always find it easy to express how I feel and would rather withdraw and get away from what’s hurting me. So maybe I can learn to let go of my control like Tara did to really make the most of my life.

The next review will be for “His Fair Lady” by Kathleen Kirkwood. I look forward to seeing your then!

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts or feedback on this blog!

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47 Things – Lilliana Anderson

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed last week’s blog and are looking forward to reading this one.

When choosing to read 47 Things I couldn’t remember anything about it from when I purchased it ages ago. It was just sitting in my list of books that I wanted to read. So, I went into this book only knowing that something in the description made me buy it. I didn’t know who the author was, what style of book this was let alone what to expect from this book. Saying that, I found my heartstrings pulled throughout this book and was surprised by the turn the book took even though I guessed it ahead of the reveal.

My first surprise happened almost immediately at the start of the book when I discovered that this book was centered around a boy and girl in their final year of uni at the University of Sydney. I wasn’t expecting this book to be set in Australia, but it was a pleasant surprise for me having lived in Sydney for a few years. When Lilliana describes various locations in Sydney and the surrounding areas I found myself really seeing these locations based on my memories. When Tyler takes Sara with him to go dirt bike riding I could imagine the nature surrounding them, I could imagine the shape of the mountains in the background, the smell of the mountain dirt as well as the sound of the local wildlife living in the bushland areas. And trust me on this, Aussie bushland sights, smells and sounds are vastly different to city sights, smells and sounds. I really liked that Lilliana described the scenery in enough detail to give me the base to then add on my own memories. Since I’ve seen and lived in these areas myself I really appreciated this. But I’m not sure someone who hasn’t seen the scenery will get the full impact of these locations.

Learning about how Tyler and Sara were getting to know each other you can tell that something is seriously wrong with Tyler, but Lilliana waits until over halfway through the book to share what this is. All we know is that Tyler is amazing, attentive, loyal and everything a girl wants in a guy while he’s around. But then for some reason Tyler goes walkabout and disappears on Sara. She tried not to worry since her and Tyler weren’t really dating yet. He was just looking after her after breaking her foot. But Sara gets so worried about Tyler’s sudden disappearances that she asks his uni friends who won’t give her anything.

But after one such disappearance that’s lasted longer than most, Sara is home in Moama to visit her family for Christmas. While in town she runs into someone who was there the day Tyler left Moama and never came back. Sara took this opportunity to find out more about what happened that day. Only problem is, that information was so vague that when Sara Googled what could be going on with Tyler she found that he could have anything from anxiety through to cancer. Obviously, this scared the crap out of her and instantly made her send him a message to tell him to meet her at her apartment in Sydney in 8 hours, giving her enough time to drive all the way back to Sydney from Moama.

When Sara confronts Tyler about this he assures her that he’s not dying from cancer, but that he still won’t share what is going on. And he stresses to her that if she doesn’t like him leaving and then coming back to tell him not to come back. Otherwise, when he does leave he will always come back. As romantic and heart pulling as this part was, all I could think about was “If you really cared for her why wouldn’t you just explain why you keep disappearing? Or stop disappearing altogether?”. I feel like I spent 3 days obsessing over why Tyler kept walking out on Sara before finally getting to the point of the book where I found out why.

When I got to the point where we found of that Tyler has MS I felt like an ass. Of course, he’d want to hide his deteriorating physical condition. What 21 yr old wants to have the physical capabilities of the elderly? I know if I was in that position I’d want to hide that for as long as possible as well so that I could be treated like a normal young adult as well. How could I judge him for something that I’d handle in the same way? This really reminded me to not judge people and their circumstances until I know more information. And this applies to both my personal and professional life. I’d like to think I do this really well, but I know I’m not perfect and that I make mistakes and sometimes judge too quickly based on previous experiences with certain individuals. So, it was good to be reminded that not everything is as it seems, even if you have known someone a long time.

Once Sara hears all this from Tyler she accepts his apology and they can move on. For them this involves trying to tick off as many of his bucket list items before he reaches a point where he can no longer get around by himself; at which point he wants to be euthanized. Only, this is illegal in Australia, so Tyler, Sara and Tyler’s mum need to hatch a plan for assisted suicide so that no one can be charged for murder. Again, I can really see myself in this situation. Only I’m hoping that by the time I’m old enough to worry about this that the Australian government will make euthanasia legal for those who will have no quality of life and want the choice to end their own suffering.

The good thing, Sara wound up pregnant before his time was over and had a son to raise that reminded her of her fleeting time with Tyler. The epilogue is dedicated to showing us this and finishes up by telling us how Sara and her little boy will be travelling to tick of more of Tyler’s bucket list items. This was the final heartstring pulling moment for me and even made me tear up on the train while I read this because it’s so sweet. And it will allow the little boy to get to know his father through experiencing the things he wanted to experience but couldn’t because of his MS. So even though this book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, it finished off on a sadly happy note that didn’t include a typical romantic happily ever after which made me enjoy the ending even more.

Thank-you for taking the time to read this blog and I look forward sharing my thoughts about “38 Days” by Len Webster next week.

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