book blogger, book review, Books

Review of What Happened to us by Faith Hogan

My rating: 4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Well, this was just simply marvellous to read, a real pleasure and an utter joy. This is a comfort read at its best- pure loveliness which will keep you up all night! If you are in the mood to be completely and utterly captivated by a heart-warming story of deceit, second chances, friendship and love then this is the book for you! Read it now – you won’t regret it!!

Carrie is simply gorgeous, such a wonderful protagonist who I felt like I could connect with. Given the number of difficulties thrown her way she handles them all incredibly well as she tries to stay positive throughout. I was rooting for her from the beginning and she really comes into her own and grows throughout the novel. I really liked the fact that it switched viewpoints throughout the novel – so we got to learn a bit more about the other characters connected to Carrie. 

It begins with a shocking revelation and the end of long-term relationship for Carrie and though she is treated badly she will ultimately triumph over her misery. Another spanner is thrown into the works as this partner is also a business partner, the chef of the Sea Pear a restaurant which both Carrie and Kevin have dedicated the past ten years to. As the novel progresses, she surrounds herself with a lovely group of people who appreciate and care for her like she does them. It is this, that reinforces the idea that friendship is reciprocal, and this is ultimately what drives her happiness and her growth. 

I absolutely loved the wonderful characters excepting, of course, a few questionable and deceitful characters who you shall discover upon reading. It wasn’t long before I became fully engrossed in this wonderful tale with a great plot which will keep you intrigued, entertained and ultimately on tenterhooks to discover what happens.

Synopsis:

Sometimes the end is only the beginning… 

After ten years together, Carrie Nolan is devastated when she’s dumped by her hot-shot chef boyfriend, Kevin Mulvey, without even a backwards glance! But on reflection, she has sacrificed her own long-term happiness by pandering to his excessive ego in their successful Dublin restaurant (and out of it) – but not anymore! 

While Kevin is ‘living the dream’ with his beautiful new Brazilian girlfriend, Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched strangers who need her as much as she needs them. 

With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable. 

How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

I want to thank the publishers Head of Zeus for the gifted copy of this beautiful book. I am so grateful to have been able to read this and discover such a wonderful author. Though this is my first Faith Hogan novel – I can assure you it will not be my last- bring on more wonderful weekends spent whiling the time away reading her wonderful stories! 

book blogger, book review, Books, culture, review

Book Tour Review: The Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

My rating: 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What a truly brilliant book!!! Ruth Goodman adds another layer to the research she does through actually implementing the methods and practices which she discusses in her work. This is one of the many things that make her work even more interesting, as she is able to add her own experience of practicing these historical methods. This action seems to add credibility to the facts and even makes it clearer to visualise how they would have been done. Goodman writes in a way which draws the reader in, she has an easy style which captivates the reader, through her discussion and analysis of each aspect. As someone who is interested in the social history of England, yet by no means claiming to be an expert, I felt I was in safe hands reading this book. The engaging way she writes does not detract from the content of what she writes. I found her examination of different fuels used in England before coal became universal to be highly interesting. From learning about the history of peat which I knew barely anything of to coppicing and pollarding the first few chapters alone give you are wealth of information to ponder for an extensive period of time. This is all before we get to coal and how it burned, or even how it became to fuel of choice. The depth of the research, the quality and quantity of information is truly great. It only goes to show that Goodman, of course, an expert in the field is able to create incredible work such as this whilst making it accessible, and fun to read without sacrificing the quality of her work. She shows that the introduction of coal had a huge impact on society as a whole, as well as individuals day to day life. In the latter part of the book she explores the impact of the change to coal on cooking and cleaning, which shed a new light and perspective on the daily lives of ordinary people – a topic which is discussed and examined less often.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would heartily recommend to anyone with an interest in British or social history. 

A huge thanks to @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup for allowing me to be part of this book tour and for this #gifted copy. 

book blogger, book review, Books, culture, review

An Unkindness of Ravens by S.E. Smith @PublishingShip #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup

It’s my stop on the book tour for this wonderful book, I gave it four stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Louis misbehaving!

Review:

This is the second in a series but can be read as a standalone. Although this was my first foray into the world of Symington, Earl Byrd I didn’t feel lacking too much knowledge in not having read the first book. I thoroughly enjoyed this enthralling historical mystery. It has everything you could want, an intriguing and complex plot to get you completely hooked an intent on discovering the person committing the heinous crimes whilst also having well developed and interesting characters. It also doesn’t give too much away too quickly so you can contemplate the action and ponder over the storyline. I read this over a few sittings to allow for maximum thinking time to discover what happened before the ending! Overall a fun read and I would highly recommend to one and all- especially if you have a thing for mysteries! 

I will of course be going back to the first and making my way through the rest of the series as it really was a pleasure to read! A massive thanks to the fabulous @lovebooksgroup for allowing me to be part of this tour and for providing me with a #gifted copy. 

Synopsis:

When Symington, Earl Byrd is called in to investigate the murder of Robert Langley, he’s confused. Why shoot a man when you’ve already poisoned him? Much to the prime minister’s disgust, a trip to Wales complicates matters further. But the prime minister is the least of Byrd’s worries. Rumour has it, Jack the Ripper’s back – tying up loose ends. But when did Jack start using poison?

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The Association by Sharon Ann Ziegler

First of all I will say – WOW – because that sums up this gem of a book perfectly! This was my first foray into legal thrillers and I must say it has really blown me away. If you are a fan of well written, intriguing plots with a mystery at the heart of it and a book that is utterly thrilling and enormously gripping then look no further, this is for you! 

I was completely involved in the characters and their stories and was desperate to discover what would happen. It was written beautifully and Ziegler gives you a few nuggets of information, which makes you think you have figured out what will happen, but then you are completely surprised with the outcome. I was genuinely shocked at the ending – I just did not expect it at all and I loved it! 

This book certainly had the wow factor I look for with books. It is an exciting read and ultimately will be the best thing you read this year! By the way this is Ziegler’s first novel – I know I am desperate to see what else she has to offer us! 

 A young attorney is asked by the Wainrights to look into the presumed corruption at work within their community. They live in a luxury lakeside community Covington Commons, which has three neighbourhoods: Eagle’s Nest, Mockingbird Heights and Peacock Plains. Only one of these neighbourhoods is remotely luxurious and that is Eagle’s Nest, which boasts of fabulous amenities and is super glamorous whereas the other two are in a complete state of disrepair and utterly unkempt. The young attorney delves into research and discovers the ruling elite are the board and committee members of the Association and she needs proof of their dishonest behaviour. Guess where they live, Eagle’s Nest! Follow this hardworking, intelligent and caring attorney in her journey to discover the nature of the underhand, sinister workings going on at Covington Commons, trust me it is truly amazing!

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Set The Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes Book Reveiw: 4 Stars

As soon as I began reading this masterpiece I was wholeheartedly invested in the characters and their stories. This sensational tale of wonder encompasses everything I love about reading, I want to be completely taken over by the story and desperately feel their woes and joy, to really feel their plight. This book is an exquisite example of a book which takes over your soul, seeps into your heart and shakes your whole existence. 

This is a tale which holds the purest of loyalty, true hope and wonder at its heart as the search for truth begins. Discover these endearing characters who ooze strength, bravery, inquisitiveness and wonder at life’s mysteries. Easily enter into the confidence of these characters who overcome real suffering and feel the pain of their sorrows for them. 

Lucy and Dashel are childhood friends who both realised their love of researching through Lucy’s fathers love of storytelling. As adults they became researchers, Lucy of the sea and Dashel of the stars and together they embark on a journey to discover the whereabouts of a lost ship 200 years ago. 

Heading back in time Amanda Dykes takes the reader on a journey of loss, loyalty, betrayal and the purest of hope. Switching between time periods join these wonderful characters on a wonderous journey which will stick with you forever.