Sunday, 25 June 2017

Out on the 29th June! The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman - 10**!!!!!!

Am reviewing this early, as I'm away next week :)


Blurb:

If you could change the past, would you?

****This summer, get ready to believe in Impossible Things with the brand new book from international bestseller, Rowan Coleman. Available to pre-order now!****


How far would you go to save the person you love?
Luna is about to do everything she can to save her mother's life.
Even if it means sacrificing her own.







Review:

Where do I start? How do you review a book that touched you on every level and still has me thinking about it, days after I galloped to the end? This is so much more than a time travel book. It is deep, focusses on real problems and real solutions. And the lengths to which we are prepared to go to save our loved ones.

I've made no secret of the fact that We Are All Made of Stars is one of my all-time favourite books, but, although very different, The Summer of Impossible Things is up there next to it! 

I've no idea how Rowan's brain works, but I do know that it must go on the most fabulous journeys when she researches books and crafts them. This book has everything. Quantum Physics, which seems quite normal, romance, suspension, NYC in 1977 and family relationships. 

I'm not going to mention the plot - the blurb covers it and I don't want to give too much away. Suffice to say, the tension builds, as the heat does and I don't how she did it, but the plot moves faster and faster! I was panicking, exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time!

Would Luna cease to exist? Read it and find out.....this is a MUST-READ!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review and this gets a personal 10**!

Pre-order here: Amazon UK



Friday, 23 June 2017

Review of Just For the Holidays by Sue Moorcroft - 5**

The book came out a short while ago, but we decided to save my blog for Midsummer's Day :)


Blurb:

The #1 bestselling author returns for summer! Grab your sun hat, a cool glass of wine, and the only book you need on holiday…
In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.
But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…





Review:

It's always a red letter day when a new book comes out from Sue and I couldnt wait to read this.
And I certainly wasn't disappointed. It has everything - love interest, dysfunctional families, handsome pilot, beautiful scenery and a lot of laughs.

As always, Sue creates deep, meaningful characters, interesting interactions and complicated relationships in the space of one book. I really felt for Leah, going on holiday with her sister's family, whilst her sister and brother-in-law were going through a very rough patch in their marriage. The holiday didn't promise to be a barrel of laughs!

But it was - it was all about self-discovery, mending and making do and the complications that children can bring to any situation. And it was very funny at times!

Thank you, Sue, for yet another great book and I look forward to Christmas!

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


And for an added Midsummer's Day Bonus here is Sue talking about her favourite things about summer:

Ten Things I Love About Summer – to celebrate Midsummer’s Day
by Sue Moorcroft

To celebrate my summer book, Just for the Holidays at midsummer, Annie has kindly invited me over to tell you ten things I love about this, my favourite season. So here we go:
Sunshine. I love the feeling of sun on my skin, particularly after a long, dull patch of weather. I have freckles and my mum used to say it was the sun kissing me. I’ve never liked the freckles but I still love the warmth.
Being outside. Whether I’m at home or on holiday I love to eat (or drink, for that matter) outside. If this is with friends and loved ones, I like it even more.
Not having to wear coats and boots. Isn’t it great to just grab your bag and step outside without dragging on eighteen layers? It makes me feel liberated and light. If I stop for a chat I don’t get frostbite.
Long days. We’re just at the longest day now, when afternoons stretch into evenings that are warm and balmy. Dinner outside as well as lunch! The days feel more cheerful with so many hours to admire the blue (hopefully) sky.
Flowers. I know we get flowers in the other seasons but nothing quite as frothing and enthusiastic as those tubs and baskets of summer blooms appearing in gardens everywhere. When I went to Strasbourg to research Just for the Holidays the profusion of flowers made the bridges look as if they were edged with lace. Beautiful.
Thirst. Yes, I do count that a pleasure! A cold beer on a hot day is at least twice as nice as at any other time. Or wine! I’m equal opportunities as far as beer or wine are concerned. As above, best taken in the company of family or friends.
Children playing outside. Hearing their shouts and laughter seems part of summertime. OK, children do sometimes cry or argue but that always seems short lived.
Having windows open in the house or car to breathe in the fresh air without freezing.
Barbecues. Nothing tastes quite the same as proper barbecued food.
And, lastly … holidays! I know we can have them in winter too (I hardly ever get one then, however) but I love to walk by the sea or relax with a book at a pavement café.
Thanks to Annie for inviting me over. I hope that you all have a wonderful, sunny summer of blue skies and happy memories.




Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. The Christmas Promise rose to #1 in the Amazon Kindle chart; The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream and Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers’ Best Romantic Read Awards and Darcie’s Dilemma for Readers’ Best Short Romance. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.

Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and writing ‘how to’.



Sue’s current book: Just for the Holidays

Twitter @suemoorcroft
Instagram: suemoorcroftauthor


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review of Lisa Hill's debut novel Meet Me at Number Five - Four **


Blurb:

What if finding happiness was a race against time?
Grace Cavendish knows a thing or two about horses – but what she doesn’t know is that her husband, top horse racing trainer Charlie Carrisbrook, is having a literal ‘roll in the hay’ right under her nose. 

When the painful truth is revealed Grace has no choice but to move in with her highly-strung grandmother Clara and cousin Hennie; a single mum who has renounced men (at least that’s what she says!)

Determined to start again, Grace takes a job at the local cafe, Number Five. And whilst serving up coffee and cake is a far cry from the stables, she enjoys it – especially as she gets to work alongside the rather scrumptious Sam Whittaker.

But the past is racing to catch up with Grace. Can her life still be a romp to victory or will a devastating secret stop her dead in her tracks? 







Review:

Fantastic debut novel - and some wonderful characters. I don't know much about horses but learned a lot reading this!

And oh how I cried.....and cried.....and cried! But I laughed too - frequently. It's a warm story about families, love and deceit - and revenge in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Already looking forward to Lisa's next book - thanks to Choc Lit for finding this new star!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



Thursday, 15 June 2017

Review of Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan - Five **


Blurb:


She’s moved on…
Felicity Knight loves New York. But when she spots her ex-husband in the city, Fliss is desperate to escape!
He’s moved back…
Vet Seth Carlyle is back from California to establish his own practice and settle down. When he learns that his ex Fliss still lives close by, that future is looking a whole lot brighter…
Will a perfect escape bring them back together?
With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see he’s never stopped loving her!





Review: 
Is there no stopping Sarah? This is another wonderful book in the New York series, although we are treated to a beach escape in the Hamptons. And this is what Fliss planned when she saw her ex in NYC. But life has a funny way of twisting and guess who turns up in the Hamptons? Yes, that's right, Seth, her ex.
Fliss, with her twin sister Harriet, runs a petsitting business in NY and she slowly starts doing the same by the beach. But her confusion over her ex makes life very difficult for her. Seth has no confusion and goes all out to regain her trust and love.
I love Sarah's books - they are fun, very easy to read and her characters have substantial depth and baggage.
Looking forward to Harriet's story!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Review of Confetti at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley - Five **


Blurb:

The heart-warming new novel in Phillipa Ashley's bestselling Cornish Cafe series
Cal and Demi are preparing to launch their beloved Kilhallon Resort as a wedding venue. Cakes are baking, Cornish flowers are blooming, and fairy lights are twinkling. With the cliff-top setting and coastal views, it's the perfect place for a magical marriage ceremony.
But their first clients are no ordinary couple. The bride and groom are internationally famous actors Lily Craig and Ben Trevone. Kilhallon is about to host a celebrity wedding . . .
With the pressure on, Demi and Cal are doing all they can to keep their guests happy and avoid any wedding disasters. But is the unpredictable weather the only thing standing in the way of the Big Day?
As secrets surface and truths are told, can Demi and Cal ensure that Kilhallon's first wedding is a success? One thing’s for sure, this will be a Cornish celebration to remember . . .







Review:

Cal and Demi's story continues in this book. Although it is a bit deeper than the previous 2. Cal and his experiences in Syria come to the fore once more and Demi's relationship with her father improves throughout the book.

Mawgan is up to her usual shenanigans and you begin to wonder if the wedding of 'Bonnie & Clyde' will ever happen!

Lovely twists at the end and I, for one, had tears in my eyes.

I love Phillipa's books and was grateful to receive an ARC in exchange for an honest review. She was one of the first authors to influence my change of genre from crime & thriller to romance and romantic comedy. I read both now, but will always remain a fan of Ms Ashley!



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

My turn for the review of Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan - 4**





Blurb:

LOCAL GIRL SWEPT OFF HER FEET
Mild-mannered publicist Holly Phillips is unlucky in love. She's embarrassed beyond belief when the handsome stranger she meets in a bar turns out to be 'Ultimate Man' - a superpowered hero whose rescue attempt finds her hoisted over his shoulder and flashing her knickers in the newspaper the next day.


But when Holly's fifteen minutes of fame make her a target for something villainous, she only has one place to turn - and finds the man behind the mask holds a lot more charm than his crime-fighting alter-ego.


Can Holly find love, or is superdating just as complicated as the regular kind?







Review:

Want something different? Want a good laugh? Then this is the book for you. I read it in one go - it's non-stop and hysterically funny!

Holly is a lovely character and "Ultimate Man" is wonderful! I could see him so clearly in his purple costume and really wished I could find one like him!

Jenny has a great sense of humour and this really comes through. Perfect light read!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.




Amazon UK: £4.99


Review of Excess Baggage by Laura Barnard - 4**


Blurb:

Stuck in a dead-end relationship, Erica Bennett finds herself daydreaming of her first holiday romance. She was fifteen, it was exciting, new and full of possibilities…and Jack Lawson was hot as hell. That kind of thing leaves a mark.

So when her friends suggest a girls holiday to Luna Island, it’s exactly what she needs to take her mind off things. What she doesn’t expect is to spot Jack – a much older, hotter version of him – across the hotel lobby.

Their attraction is still there and it isn’t long before sparks fly, but fifteen years is a long time. They aren’t the same people they were back then and besides, it’s only a week, right?

Is it a second chance at something real or will their excess baggage ruin their shot at love after they leave Luna Island?







Review:

This is funny, sentimental and really well written. How many of us dream about our teenage loves/crushes and wonder what would happen if we met now? I certainly do, but doubt he would be as hot as Jack!

Lovely book about innocence, shange and, of course, baggage. Interesting to see how life changes Erica and Jack in the intervening years. Especially interesting from the point of view of the friends of them both as well - and their different points of view!

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



Tuesday, 23 May 2017

My turn for Darcie Boleyn's Blog Tour! 





Review of Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn - Five **

Blurb:


In a gorgeous Cornish village, two brokenhearted people fall head over heels. But can the magic of Conwenna Cove heal the hurt of the past? A feel-good summer romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Phillipa Ashley and Jenny Hale.
Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.
Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.
Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fear aside and learn to love again?
Summer at Conwenna Cove is an emotional and heart-warming holiday read about being brave enough to take a chance on love.




Review:

What a wonderful and emotional book! I loved the characters, especially Aunt Mary, and the storyline was well handled.

The fact that there are rescue dogs in there too and greyhounds at that, just makes it all that bit extra special! (I even dreamed of greyhounds after I read it!)

I read it in the garden, surrounded by my rescue dogs - a perfect summer read!

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



Thursday, 11 May 2017

Review and Extract of Can't Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering - 5*

Out today in paperback!!


Blurb:

Is it all too good to be true?

When Willow runs into her old university crush, Luke, she’s a new woman with a new look – not to mention a little bit more cash after a rather substantial inheritance. Could she be lucky enough to score a fortune and her dream man at the same time?


Then Willow meets Cal; a computer geek with a slightly odd sense of humour. They get on like a house on fire — although she soon realises that there is far more to her unassuming new friend than meets the eye …


But money doesn’t always bring happiness, and Willow finds herself struggling to know who to trust. 


Are the new people in her life there because they care – or is there another reason?






Review:

Absolutely hysterically funny book! Willow is a wonderful central character with a really offbeat sense of humour - although not as offbeat as Cal's, which had me crying with laughter!

Luke is divine, god-like in Willow's eyes....but is it all real? Has her crush from uni really developed feelings for her?

The denouement at the end is classic - and very, very rewarding!

Please buy this - I promise you won't be disappointed :)

And here, just for my lucky readers is a nice chunk from the book to tempt you!!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



Extract:

Extract: Can’t Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering
Can’t Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering is now available in paperback! If you enjoy this extract and want to read more of the book, you’ll find purchasing links at the end J

My house technically belongs to my parents, but they’d handed all the responsibility for its upkeep on to me when they decided to go off on the longest hippy trail in recorded history. None of the others had wanted it. My sister Breeand her husband lived in an old rectory in a village north of the city. Of my other siblings, Flint lived in Beijing, Ocean had a flat over his bookbinding business in Harrogate and Ash, well, of all of us Ash had most inherited our parents’ free spirit and tended towards no-fixed-abodeness. Although I gathered that an orderly queue had formed of people only too willing to provide him with a roof over his head and, most importantly, a mattress under his back. He writes for travel blogs, which means he gets to go to places all over the world and neglects to keep in contact from any of them.
I’d better get it off my chest now, before you meet him. Ash is not only my brother, but my twin. I hate, resent and adore him in roughly equal measures. He irritates me so much that it makes my head itch. He’s mouthy, stroppy, sulky and permanently late – absolutely nothing like me. Really. He thinks he’s ‘hip and happening’. I think that thirty-two is far too old to be using phrases like ‘hip and happening’.
And then there’s the name thing. Our parents, relentless children-of-nature that they are, had decided that they wanted four children to name after the four elements:earth, air, water and fire. Along in due course came Flint, Breeze, Ocean and Ash. I suppose it was no one’s fault, more of a cosmic joke, that their last-born fire-child turned out to be children. They were a bit stumped when it came to naming me.Bree, apparently, wanted me to be called Cinderella, but she was only two at the time. Then someone pointed out that Ash is also a tree and the rest, as they say, will be played by Cameron Diaz.
As I turned into my street, I could tell they were all already here. Flint was staying with me until he flew back to China, and his little black hired Smart car was parked neatly aligned with the front door. Ocean’s van was in front, Bree had borrowed her husband Paddy’s second car (a convertible BMW, which should tell you all you need to know about him) and Ash’s current vehicle of choice, a 750cc Yamaha motorbike, was corralled in my front garden, bridled with the weeds I hadn’t had time to clear from the walls since summer.
They were all seated around the dining table and they were, as usual, arguing.
‘I don’t know what you’ve got to complain about, Flint, he’s left me Booter and Snag, and what the hell am I supposed to do with a couple of smelly spaniels?’ My sisterBreepatted her barely visible bump. ‘This is due in four months!’ With her smooth hair tied up and her work suit on – she’d only been able to spare half an hour for the will reading – she looked like one of those stock model photographs in a ‘working whilst pregnant’ article.
‘Complain? Oh, now why should I want to complain about being left an allotment on the outskirts of York when I live on a different bloody continent!’ Flint shouted back. ‘What did he expect me to do, fly over twice a week to spray the cabbages?’
‘No, but this is different, this is a baby.’ Breepatted her stomach again as though Flint might have missed the point. ‘Dogs are all germy. Especially those two.’
Ash wandered in from the kitchen at the same time as I entered from the hallway and we exchanged our trademark glare before sitting down. Ash had a bottle of wine and was drinking from it without benefit of a glass. He only did it because he knew how much it annoyed me. ‘Suppose you’re happy with what Ganda left you.’ He pointed the neck of the bottle at me. ‘At least yours is portable.’
‘Well, I’m hoping some of the luck he said it brought him will rub off on me.’ I took the coffee which Flint passed me and smiled at Ocean who was, as ever, sitting listening to the tirade.
‘How can it be lucky, for god’s sake?’ Ash waved the bottle now. ‘Tell me in which context it is lucky to carry your nose in a matchbox.’
‘You’re only angry because he left you twelve pairs of rubber boots. You could always open your own fetish-wear shop.’
There was a sound of a throat clearing from across the table and we stopped bickering to await Ocean’s pronouncement. He rarely spoke, our brother. It was a family rumour that he hadn’t uttered a single word until he was four and had then said ‘balloon angioplasty’ and frightened our mother half to death.
‘I think’ – and Ocean looked around at us all, with his mismatched eyes, one blue and one brown – ‘that we’re just disappointed that Ganda didn’t leave us any money. That’s why we’re bickering.’ Then, as though embarrassed that he’d spoken, he looked down at the table and let his long hair fall over his reddening face. He was a man who’d been born to the largely solitary career of bookbinding and found social interaction, of any kind, acutely painful. No wonder Ash tended to refer to him as ‘the oldest virgin in York’. But he was clever, Ocean, and astute. Disappointment was the real reason for this whole gathering of the clan, or rather, disillusionment. None of us needed the money, as such, we’d just always thought … to be honest, I don’t know what we’d thought. Although we were now all clearly beginning to think that our beloved grandfather had been bonkers.
‘Ganda never had any money to leave, though,’ I said. ‘I should know.’
They all turned to look at me. Even Ocean.
‘Yeah,’ Ash muttered. ‘We’ve kinda wondered about that. You were his favourite, you’ve got to admit, Will, and all he leaves you is a mouldy old body part?’
‘Maybe’ – heads swivelled again as Ocean spoke – ‘he gave us what he did for a reason.’
‘I reckon he gave Flint that allotment so that he’d have something to come back to.’ I looked over at our eldest brother, fussily tidying up the fallen leaves of my spider plant on the window ledge. ‘You’re always saying you’ll come back to Yorkshire one day, aren’t you? Perhaps he was making a point. This is where your roots are. It’s the kind of terrible pun Ganda used to love.’
There was a moment of silence. Then I blew my nose and Bree rubbed her eyes with her sleeve like a child would.
‘But Booter and Snag?’ she said. ‘You have to admit, Wills, they are horrible, even for dogs.’
I sensed the movement as three pairs of eyeballs turned towards me. I loved my sister, absolutely (although I’d never quite forgiven her for the Barbie incident when I was six), despite her somewhat pragmatic nature, but her cleanliness and tidiness fetish drove all of us to want to run round her immaculate house wearing muddy Wellingtons.
‘Perhaps,’ I said carefully, ‘it was because you’re the only one of us with the time and space for two spaniels.’ Plus looking after something other than yourself and the obnoxiously self-satisfied Paddy will be good practice, I prevented myself from adding. A well-placed kick under the table made sure that Ash didn’t make the point either. Secretly I knew Ganda had thought Bree was far too obsessive about her house and he would have delighted in the chaos the dogs would bring. He was probably up there now, chuckling down on our discomfiture.
Ash poked me with the wine bottle. ‘Okay, yeah, I can go with all that, and let’s face it, who else would he have left his books to but Ocean – but twelve pairs of waders? What did he expect me to do, take my friends fly-fishing?’
Since all Ash’s friends thought that fresh air was a dangerous perversion, this was unlikely to be the case. I shrugged.
‘Well, I’ve got to be going. Paddy will be home at half past six and I have no idea what I’m doing for dinner.’ Bree aimed a quick kiss at my cheek. ‘Wills, why don’t you come down next week for Sunday lunch? Paddy’s got some kind of work do on the Saturday, but he’ll be back by Sunday morning.’
Oh goody, I thought, torn between my dislike of Sundays, when I always felt like the only single woman in York, and my hatred of Paddy. ‘Sounds nice, thanks.’
‘And I’d better…’ Ocean stood up, too. ‘Bye.’ In contrast to Bree’s fussy farewell my brother simply melted into the darkness. Flint had taken all the used cups through to the kitchen, which left me with Ash.
‘One less Sunday on your own,’ he remarked, handing me the bottle he’d been drinking from and picking up his helmet. Ash always had the knack of sensing my feelings. ‘You really must be down, Will, if you’d rather spend it with Mrs Housewife and the Champion Prick.’
‘They’re not so bad,’ I said. ‘And it does get a bit lonely round here when everyone I know is coupled-up. Not you and Ocean, obviously, but Katie’s got Dan and the boys, and Jazz’s always at band rehearsals or flapping around in the shallow end of the local dating pool.’
‘I could introduce you to some of my friends.’ Ash crammed his bleach blond crop into his helmet and raised the visor.
‘No, thanks.’ I walked with him to the front garden where he wheeled the huge bike backwards out of the gateway, manoeuvring it carefully onto the road and throwing his leg casually over the saddle. ‘I’m not quite ready to be a fag hag just yet.’
‘They’re not all gay.’
‘Name one who’s not.’
He snapped down his visor, ignited the engine and muttered something over the roar. I flicked him the finger and slapped his red-leathered shoulder and he rode off, waving a hand.
‘Willow,’ Flint called from the doorway. ‘Your phone is ringing.’
I took my phone from him, presuming that Katie had successfully fought her twins into bed. ‘Hello.’ Then, noticing that Ash had decelerated to take the corner, I let out a wolf-whistle of the magnitude only truly mastered by someone with older brothers. It clearly penetrated his padded concentration, because he raised two fingers and cornered tightly, knee almost to the pavement.
The phone was silent in my ear for a second. After a moment a male voice said carefully, ‘Is that Willow?’
Oh shit. ‘Um. Yes, hello, Luke. Um. I was just…’
‘Not interrupting anything, am I? I mean, is this a good time to call?’
I rushed back inside the house andupstairs. ‘No. Yes, I mean. It’s fine.’ He had the loveliest voice, too, did I mention that? Softly spoken and with a gentle hint of an accent. (His father was Welsh and he’d grown up on Anglesey. Oh, I knew all there was to know about Luke Fry. I could have had him as a Mastermind subject.)
‘I thought you were talking to someone.’
‘Only my brother.’ Oh, be still my heaving stomach. ‘Actually, could you hold on for one second?’ I flung the receiver down on my bed and rushed to the bathroom, teeth clenched, but in the event only managed a couple of retches over the sink before the feeling was gone – but this was still unusual, telephone conversations never usually affected me. ‘Hello, sorry about that.’
‘Look, Willow, I was wondering, if you’re not busy or anything, we might have that get-together I was talking about? Maybe tomorrow? If it’s not too short notice for you? I thought, perhaps, towards evening?’
Diffident. That in itself was cute. He obviously wasn’t one of these drop everything when I call types, just nicely deferential, but I’d played this game before and knew the moves. Never agree immediately, it makes you sound desperate. Pretend your life is so crammed with wonderful experiences that he’ll have to join a queue for your attention. When I say ‘played the game’, really I’d just read a lot, none of the guys I’d found myself dating had been ‘game players’, except one, who’d had a thing for chess.
‘Well, I am a bit busy.’
But he spoke again, almost over the top of me. ‘Only I heard you telling that guy in the bar that you weren’t doing anything, so I thought… sorry? Did you say something?’
‘Me? No, just clearing my throat.’
We agreed to meet at the bar by the City Screen at seven, and he rang off, leaving me breathless and dizzy with the speed of it all. Luke Fry. Oh…my…God.


Later that evening when Katie rang me, having hog-wrestled the twins to bed and sent Dan out with his mates for a Friday night restorative, I was knee-deep in my wardrobe looking for a suitable date dress.
‘I don’t want to look too tarty,’ I explained with the telephone clamped under my chin, both hands busy rattling through the rails. ‘But then I don’t want to look as though I’ve got librarians in my ancestry either.’
‘What about your red dress?’
‘Too much cleavage.’
‘The purple one?’
‘Not enough.’ I sighed heavily and sluiced an armful of clothing onto the bed. ‘Honestly, Katie, my going-out clothes make me look like a cut-price hooker and my work clothes make me look like a geography teacher. Why has no one ever pointed this out to me before?’
Katie coughed. ‘Um, Will, you don’t think you might be reading a bit too much into all this, do you? I mean, perhaps he really does want to chat about the old days.’
‘Listen, I would dress up to hear Luke Fry read the frigging weather forecast. I don’t care why he wants me there, the fact is he wants to talk to me, and I owe it to my past self to at least feel not like a complete minger while he’s doing it. Now. What about the white dress?’
‘Bit bridal. You don’t want to scare the bejesus out of the poor guy. And don’t you think it’s all a bit sudden? When he, ahem, I mean, you have to admit, Wills, he wasn’t exactly receptive to your charms while we were at uni, was he?’
‘Well, no, but I have changed quite a bit, Katie.’ You should have seen me back then. I was a dead ringer for an Afghan Hound after a tumble-dry. And so shy, some days I could hardly bear to talk to myself.
‘He recognised you though.’
Yes, he had. After Katie hung up to go and have a long, uninterrupted piss, as she put it, I rooted through some of my memorabilia until I found the photograph. It had been taken by my then-boyfriend, a gangly streak of spots called Tom who I’d gone out with because he roadied for Fresh Fingers now and again. He’d been nice enough, quite pretty, too, but the spots had ensured that any attractive tendencies were submerged beneath layers of concealer. So my stomach contents had remained safely content and not avant-garde wall decoration.
The photograph showed Fresh Fingers, posing outside York Minster. The three other lads were sitting on the steps, but Luke had draped himself over the stonework of the south entrance, arm around a carved saint, and was glowering at the camera from under hair which must have made up half his bodyweight. On the far far left stood the figure of a girl, almost out of shot. She was wearing a gypsy skirt, a loose tartan top, hiking boots and an overlarge black duster coat. An unruly frizzle of blondish hair obscured her face but, yes, you’ve guessed it. Looking like an explosion in a charity shop, with split ends in need of extensive welding treatment, and so hopelessly, helplessly, heartbreakingly in love with Luke that a negative aura seemed to surround me, even in a photograph. I was like a black hole with bad hair.
I sighed and shoved the photo away. I was no longer that gauche, slightly podgy, badly assembled girl. No, I was a completely different gauche, badly assembled girl and the podge had transformed into curves, the bad hair into a reasonably sleek shoulder-length style. I waltzed in front of the mirror, embracing a scarlet hook-and-eye-bodiceddress which made me look like a surgical incision, but was, at least, neither tarty nor sternly practical. It was therefore my choice of dress for Luke.
Katie had to be pessimistic. She stood as the voice of reason to Jazz and my enthusiastic overreactions. But there was no escaping that not only had Luke recognised me, he’d rung almost straight away. In my book, that meant interest of a more than catching-up kind.
I yelled a ‘goodnight’ to Flint and went to bed, hanging the dress up on my wardrobe door so that I would see it if I woke during the night, and remember that this Saturday night was going to be different.

If you’d like to find out more about Jane, follow her on Twitter @janelovering or visit her website: www.janelovering.com




Sunday, 30 April 2017

Review of Dreaming of Venice by T A Williams - Five **

My turn for the blog tour of this amazing book!!


Blurb:

Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice

Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.
It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.
But can dreams come true?





Review

"And such are fairytales made of". 
This is a modern day Cinderella story with some wonderful twists. A random accident and the consequential news coverage sends Caroline to Penny's doorstep with a very unusual job offer. She can't refuse, as it means she gets to visit the city of her dreams - Venice. 
It really is a very unusual story but written with Trevor's usual humour and wonderful descriptive style. The characters develop well, as does Penny's friendship with Caroline.
How he thought this one up. I have no idea, but I'm very glad he did! I've never visited Venice, but now feel as if I know it well. 
Lovely book - thank you Trevor :)
I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.