Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn – Tilly Tennant

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn

By Tilly Tennant

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Thank you to Gosling girls book tour for allowing me to be part of this book tour.

The Blurb:

There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn.

The problem is that Holden Finn is a twenty-three-year-old pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, and has no idea she exists. Not only that, but half the women in the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. The real men in Bonnie’s life do nothing but let her down, but a man you can’t possibly have can never do that… right?

Then Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and the band, and Bonnie’s carefully-constructed world starts to unravel. She is about to find out that you should be very, very careful what you wish for …

My review:

What an entertaining book!!!

It’s a light-hearted story about Bonnie who is totally head over heels for pop star Holden Finn, who happens to also be her teenager’s daughters crush!

Bonnie is a hardworking mother of 15-year-old Paige and is keeping her life together after the break up with Henri with bills to pay. Paige wins a competition to meet Holden Finn, little did she know her mum was secretly eying up her  own wardrobe ready to meet Holden herself. It is such a cute story. I loved Bonnie, the way she wrote (and re wrote!) letters to Holden, the man of her dreams, showed that we all have that inner child in us! Then there is Max, poor old Max, who is totally in love with Bonnie. He was probably my favourite character.

The story brings a rollercoaster to Bonnie and the reader follows the ups and downs. I laughed out loud in places, and also felt sorry for Bonnie in parts of the book, giving the story great  light and shade. I enjoyed reading this book. I read it quite quickly as i couldn’t put it down. It’s a great romantic, feel good story.

Congratulations Tilly, I loved it! I think it should be made into a movie!

Follow Tilly on Twitter: @tillytenwriter

Follow Gosling Girls Blook Tours: @gggirlsbooktours

 

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The year of making time – an update

We are nearly three months into 2014 and I wanted to update you all in my plan for 2014 – the year of making time!

Well, I would say my year of making time has started off very well! I have learnt to use a sewing machine. Given my family’s craft history it was bound to happen to me at some point.

I have also helped my husband paint the downstairs loo and started tackling the garden.

Other achievements include being accepted on the LLM panel for my book reviewing. When I received the email to say I was accepted I actually shouted out “yes!!!”. I was at work at the time and I did get a few strange looks but I didn’t care. Being complimented on my “blogger style” really did give me a feeling of I can actually do this and do it well.

Also being approved by bookbridr was also an exciting moment of the past 3 months. It’s a platform between publishers and bloggers which is a fantastic idea and I have loved being part of it.

My pledge for making time for myself has pushed me to read more. I would
Like to thank the publishers and authors that have let me read and review their books. I have read so many different books and I will be honest and say that I have enjoyed every single one. I have been lucky that so far I haven’t had to write a difficult review.

I think the books that have stuck out for me so far this year include Zenith Hotel, The Summer at the Lake and The Dead Wife’s Handbook.

I have also had the pleasure of being part of some blog tours. 3 months ago I didn’t even know what a blog tour was.

After such a strong start to my first 3 months I have no option but to carry on. I think my idea of making more time for me was a pretty good one. Go ahead steal my idea. You won’t regret it.

Learning to Love – Sheryl Browne

Learning to Love

Sheryl Browne

LLM Review – www.loveahappyending.com

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The Blurb:

Exploring the Fragility of Love, Life, and Relationships Widower, Dr David Adams, has recently moved to the village – where no one knows him, ergo there’s no fuel for neighbourhood gossip– to start afresh with is ten-year old son, if only he can get to a place where his son wants to speak to him. Angry and withdrawn, Jake blames his dad for the death of his mother, and David doesn’t know how to reach him.
Andrea Kelly has too many balls in the air. With three children and a “nuts” mother to care for, her fiancé can’t fathom why she wants to throw
something else into the mix and change her career. Surely she already has too much on her plate? Because her plates are skew-whiff and her balls are dropping off all over the place, Andrea points out. She needs to make changes. Still her fiancé, who has a hidden agenda, is dead-set against it.
When Andrea’s house burns mysteriously to the ground and Andrea and her entourage are forced to move in with the enigmatic Dr Adams, however, the village drums soon start beating, fuel aplenty when it turns out someone does know him – the woman carrying his baby.

My Review:

The story surrounds Andrea, a mother and in a relationship with Jonathan. Un ware of Jonathan’s mischievous ways Andrea is getting on with life, looking after her children, juggling a teaching career as well as looking after her elderly Mother.

One night her house burnt down, changing everything. Dr David Adams a neighbour takes the family in, offering a roof over their heads whilst everything gets sorted out.  David has his own issues with his son Jake following the death of his wife. However as Andrea’s and David’s friendship blossomed the truths come out of the woodwork.

Sheryl has done a fantastic job with this book. The main character Andrea is very well written, making the reader understand Andrea’s life struggles. At the start of the book I had an instant dislike to Jonathan, but I didn’t know why. I loved this. It made me want to read on to see what he had been up to. The father/son relationship between David and Jake was heartbreaking. I felt David’s pain. The book examines relationship, family and friends in such a realistic way. The anger as a child missing his mother and the blame on his father was extremely sad to read. However the dynamics of Andrea’s family, including Dougal the dog, little Chloe and Dee did give light humour where required throughout the book. Friendships of neighbours are examined and the reactions of a community rallying around to support the family was lovely to read, something you may not see in the large communities these days!

It’s a great easy read that I would definately recommend!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Learning-Love-Sheryl-Browne-ebook/dp/B00E1LPEVO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394728828&sr=1-1&keywords=sheryl+browne

Zenith Hotel – Oscar Coop – Phane

Zenith Hotel

Oscar Coop-Phane

Arcadia Books

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The Blurb:

I’m a street prostitute. Not a call girl or anything. No, a real street whore, with stiletto heels and menthol cigarettes.’ Narrator Nanou gives a detailed account of her day, from the moment she wakes up with a foul taste in her mouth, in her sordid rented room, until the minute she crawls back into her bed at night to sleep. Interwoven with her story are portraits of her clients. Oscar Coop-Phane invents an astonishing cast of original and deeply human characters – losers, defeated by the world around them – who seek solace in Nanou’s arms. Original and moving, this short book deftly paints a world of solitude and sadness, illuminated by precious moments of tenderness and acts of kindness.

My Review:

I knew I had to read this book after seeing all the “buzz” about it on twitter!

The Book is small, but I cannot say its a small story. It is a large story in 100 pages!. The story is fresh and feels so real that you are drawn into it as a reader. The Story follows Nanou, a street prostitute and the world that her life brings her. Despite it being a fictional book there is a definite element of reality as the hard life that Nanou has is really brought to life. The story isn’t written for the reader to feel sympathy for Nanou (despite that I actually did), but it makes us realise poverty that some people face that is their reality and not fiction. The loneliness and the sadness was a true element in this book, not only of Nanou herself, but also her clients.

It’s a clever book, opening the eyes of the reader. The author, Oscar, was young when he wrote this book. Such a talent to write in this way at such a young age, I can see why this book won the Prix De Flore.

A great quick read to open your eyes with. I recommend this book for someone who wants something different to read.

 

 

Q and A with Hannah Beckerman

Q&A with Hannah Beckerman

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The Dead Wife’s Handbook

  •  Tell us about your novel, The Dead Wife’s Handbook.

 The Dead Wife’s Handbook is the story of Rachel who’s died of a heart attack at the (too-young) age of 36. The novel opens a year after her death, where we find her in some sort of netherworld, watching over her husband and seven-year-old daughter as they try to rebuild their lives without her. It’s about Rachel’s family and friends – as well as Rachel herself – coming to terms with their grief and understanding the impact Rachel had on their lives.

  • How did you come up with the idea of writing from a deceased persons perspective?

           I came up with the idea after a conversation with a friend about her ex-husband. She’d told me how she felt uncomfortable about the possibility of him telling his new partner her secrets. I started thinking about how that probably makes many of us feel uncomfortable and that the most extreme version of that would be if you were dead but nonetheless able to witness what was being said about you. Suddenly there was this dead character – Rachel – in my head, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how she felt.

  •  I couldn’t stop crying throughout the book, I really did feel Rachel’s heart ache. Was there a particular part in the book that you felt was most difficult to write?

I did cry quite a lot during the writing of the book! I think the scenes that were most affecting for me when writing were some of the conversations between Max (Rachel’s husband) and Ellie (their daughter). I love their relationship, and I love both of them as characters, and so Max’s tenderness and Ellie’s childlike desire to understand (even though she really can’t yet) were very emotive to imagine. There were times when my husband would come into the study and I’d be in floods of tears!

  •  Your book club questions at the end of the book are very thought provoking. What are your thoughts on book clubs and have you ever been part of one?

 I’ve never been part of a book club but I love the idea of them. When I was a TV Producer at the BBC I ran a project called The Big Read which was partly about getting people to vote on their favourite novel, but largely about extending the reach of reading. So I was involved in organising projects to set up book clubs and reading groups around the country. I think they’re a fantastic way for people to have a shared experience with a book – and we all know there’s nothing better than raving about a book you love or ranting about one you didn’t!

  •  What can we expect from your second novel?

 I’m just working on revisions for book 2 at the moment. The subject is under wraps (I haven’t even told my mum yet!) but it’s a story about family, relationships and identity with a few dark secrets thrown in for good measure!

Thank you So much to Hannah for taking part in this Q&A!

 

The Perfect Match – Katie Fforde

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The Perfect Match
Katie Fforde

What is on the back:
Three years ago Bella Castle left her home town nursing a broken heart over Dominic Thane, the man she fell in love with but couldn’t have …

Now she’s made a new life for herself in the country, working as an estate agent.

Bella loves her job and she loves her boyfriend Nevil. But recently he’s been preoccupied, and she’s starting to question if his future hopes and dreams are a perfect match for hers.

And when Dominic turns up unexpectedly in search of his dream house, she begins to wonder if home is really where the heart is. But she’s over him, isn’t she?

My review:
First of all isn’t the cover just gorgeous!!!
I am often drawn to a book by its cover and when this book dropped on my door step (I was kindly sent an advance copy to review) I was so excited!

The story is about Bella, who has moved away from home to live with her Godmother Alice. Life is good for Bella, she has a job she loves and she is dating Nevil who also happens to be her boss.

Bella becomes good friends with Jane, and elderly lady living alone in a large house. Bella met her through the estate agents but instead of selling Jane’s house a friendship blossomed.

Bella’s life gets turned upside down when Dominic, Jane’s nephew and a character from Bella’s past, turns up out of the blue. This pulls at Bella’s heart as she re examines her relationship with Nevil. Unfortunately she didn’t need to look that hard!

The gentleness of this story is lovely. Katie has a great way of introducing characters and their relationships. Nothing was forced in this book. It was a delightful read. I love the way Katie brings relationship and love to all the characters and addressing age gaps proving that you don’t have to be young to fall in love.

I especially loved the descriptions of the gardens. It made me dream of the summer sitting in my garden appreciating the sunshine. Just a dream during these cold months.

This would be a “perfect” book to read on holiday or just relaxing on the sofa. Congratulations Katie on another fantastic book which I loved to read.

The Dead Wife’s Handbook – Hannah Beckerman

The Dead Wife's Handbook

The Dead Wife’s Handbook

Hannah Beckerman

What’s on the back of the book:

The Dead Wife’s Handbook is the stunning emotional debut from author Hannah Beckerman. ‘Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.’ Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life – until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating. Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems. As Rachel grieves for the life she’s lost and the life she’ll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for. Hannah Beckerman gives an unforgettable exploration of love and loss in her first novel, The Dead Wife’s Handbook. Praise for The Dead Wife’s Handbook: “Beautifully written and full of love”. (Fern Britton). “A moving and intriguing debut novel”. (Fabulous Magazine). Hannah Beckerman is a former TV and film producer living in London. The Dead Wife’s Handbook is her first novel.

My Review:

Get your tissues and your heart ready before you even open this book.

I heard about this book through other bloggers on twitter so knew I just had to read it.

The book follows Rachel, who has been dead for a year. Her unexpected death not only shocked her family but it also shocked Rachel as she watches her family and friends deal with life without her. Rachel has access to watch down on her husband Max and daughter Ellie as they deal with the tragedy and try with best to move on with their lives. Rachel narrates the story and the reader follows her witnessing the often frustrating moments and the realisation that life for Rachel was far too short and that she had so much more to do with her life.

I have read many debut novels, but this one was different. I could tell a lot of time effort and tears were shed during the process of writing this book. I do not know how Hannah wrote this book! The emotions and frustrations of Rachel were clear to see, the heartbreak of a mother and wife were sometimes very difficult to read, but it was written in such a way I had to read on. I felt the anger with Rachel that she was taken away from her life far to early. Reading how Rachel watched Max bring up Ellie without her was so moving, I wanted to grab Rachel and run so it didn’t break her heart even more.

As a member of a book club I was very impressed that at the back of the book there was questions targeted to book clubs. I cannot wait to discuss some of the questions at my next book club meeting.

Every review I have read about this book as ran true. Heart breaking, moving and emotional were often included in other reviews and I totally agree.

I can honestly say this book has made me look at my own life. I  lost someone close to me a few years ago, I miss him to this day. This book has made me think from his perspective, how frustrated he must be for me sometimes, his heart breaking for me, especially over the recent months . It has made me follow my dreams and stop worrying!

Hannah you have no idea what you have done to me, I’m in tears just writing this review!

Congratulations on a truly wonderful book. you should be very proud!

Frances.

p.s come back to my blog on the 11th March for a Q and A with Hannah Beckerman!

How to get a (love) life – Rosie Blake

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How to get a (love) life
By Rosie Blake

The story is focused in Nicola Brown. Stuck in her “single” ways, due to her OCD, her life consists of nights in alone eating her evening meal from a set weekly menu.

Caroline, her office colleague, thinks Nicola needs to lighten up and set herself free by daring Nicola to find a date in time for Valentines Day which is in 3 months time.

As there is not a queue of men waiting to date Nicola, she ends up studying books on the art of dating!

Her helpful Brother Mark tried to set her up with his friends. Poor Nicola ends up on dates that she was not expecting , including a lovely date that involved kayak!

The one man who would love to date Nicola is Chris, and that is just asking for trouble as he is the top paying client of the actor agency of which Nicola works for.

This laugh out loud book was great to cheer me up during the winter blues.
I read it quickly as it was so easy to read. The story flowed at a good pace and the character were well written. It is your typical chic lit book. That’s why I loved it!

Well done Rosie! Let me know when the next book is published!