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26 September 2016

Review:'Natalie's Getting Married' by Rosa Temple (2016)

Career minded, Natalie Spencer, had never been in love. She could never understand what all the fuss was about. But when she met Jackson Humphries during Fresher’s Week at university, that all changed. 

Utterly infatuated, Natalie quickly discovers the meaning of love and, before she knows it, she's heading up the aisle – for the first time, that is. 

This is a tale about four wedding dresses, a runaway groom and a girl who got so carried away, she couldn’t see true love staring her right in the face.

Book by book I am slowly but surely catching up on my to-review list and I have to admit it's a pretty good feeling to finally have the time to read and review all the books I initially promised to review. I absolutely hate having to go back on an agreement/promise, so I'm glad I made the time in my schedule to catch up on everything! Today I've got a review of a novel from an author I was introduced to not too long ago when I reviewed her novella 'Sleeping With Your Best Friend' (click here to read my review). Earlier this year Rosa Temple released her first full-length novel, 'Natalie's Getting Married' and she was so lovely to provide me with a review copy of that as well. I was curious to give it a go and hoped I would end up enjoying it!

Natalie Spencer never knew what love was until she met Jackson Humphries during her very first week at university. Even though she and Jackson haven't actually said a word to each other, she knows he is the one she wants to be with. Her best friend Gabriel tries to convince her to enjoy student life, but Natalie knows Jackson will be worth the wait. After two years they finally talk and can't deny the spark between them. Natalie couldn't be happier and when Jackson proposes, she's over the moon and ready to start their new life together. However, fate has other things in store for her, because Natalie's romantic journey has only just begin and we're not yet anywhere near the ending...

After having read Rosa Temple's novella 'Sleeping With Your Best Friend', I was quite curious to check out her first full-length novel 'Natalie's Getting Married.' I'm a big fan of fun romantic comedies and that's exactly what this novel is. The book focuses on student Natalie who is a bit of a romantic and really wants to find her very own Mr. Right. When she's at university she meets Jackson, the guy of her dreams, but as we join Natalie over the years (the book is divided into three parts, each one focusing on a different period of Natalie's life) it seems her own love story is just getting started at university and there is a lot more to come. Natalie was easy to like and even though the plotline of the novel isn't the most original one, it's entertaining and kept my attention throughout. 

While I have to say I definitely think Rosa Temple's writing has improved with this novel, I did feel the story was a bit rushed. The first few chapters were quite short with a lot of stuff happening, and we were hardly given any background information or description of the different characters, especially Natalie. I think this would have given the story more body and a less rushed feeling to it. However, some readers might enjoy the quick pace and not miss the scene descriptions, of course. Overall I think this is a fun rom com with an enjoyable plotline and a good group of characters, and a novel that has made me look forward to reading Rosa Temple's next work. 'Natalie's Getting Married' is a light-hearted, fast-paced and pleasant chick lit read, and a promising first novel by this author.
Rating:8/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


25 September 2016

The Bookish Book Lover Tag

It's Sunday; time for a bit of bookish fun in the form of a book tag! I found the following tag on A Writer's Heart and immediately loved the sound of it because I'm obviously a book lover as well. Check out my answers below and don't hesitate to join in with the fun; if you do, leave your link in the comments section so I can have a look at your answers as well!


1) What Book Are You Currently Reading?
I'm currently reading 'Always a Cowboy' by Linda Lael Miller. A trustworthy and nice romance read, exactly what I needed.

2) What's The Last Book You Finished?
Yesterday I finished the second instalment of Erin Lawless' latest chick lit series, 'The One with the Wedding Dress' and I loved it. Can't wait to read the third part!


3) Favorite Book You Read This Year?
Oh, wow, that's a difficult one. I've been lucky enough to have read quite a few pretty amazing books. However, if I have to pick a few I'd go for:

'Eligible' - Curtis Sittenfeld
'The Lonely Hearts Travel Club' series - Katy Colins
'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' - J.K. Rowling and others
'Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe' - Debbie Johnson


4) What Genre Have You Read Most This Year?
Chick lit/romantic comedies.

5) What Genre Have You Read Least This Year?
I enjoy a good thriller or mystery/detective novel every now and again but have hardly read any this year so far.

6) What Genre Do You Want To Read More Of?
Well, I can never get enough of chick lit, to be honest. But I've read some pretty great historical novels lately and just really enjoy the genre, so definitely hope I can read more of those.

7) How Many Books Have You Read This Year, And What's Your Goal?
I've currently read 131 of 165 novels for 2016.

8) What's The Last Book You Bought?
I actually bought a bunch at the same time, but I know for sure that Giovanna Fletcher's 'Always with Love' was one of them.


9) What Book Are You Saving Up To Buy Next?
Oh wow, my wish list is WAY too long, but I definitely plan on buying Meg Cabot's 'The Boy is Back' and 'Searching for a Silver Lining' by Miranda Dickinson as soon as they will be released in October.

10) How Many Books Did You Check Out Last Library Visit?
I don't actually ever go to the library anymore... Already way too many books at home to get through!

11) What's A Book You Can't Wait To Read?
I'm incredibly excited about reading Lindsey Kelk's 'We Were On a Break', which I'm sure will be another fantastic read by Lindsey.


12) What's A Series You'd Recommend to Everyone?
There's only one series I recommend to absolutely everyone and that's the Harry Potter series. There are a lot of chick lit series I like to recommend, but only to people who actually enjoy chick lit/romance/women's fiction.

13) Who's An Author You're Hoping Writes More?
Jane Austen. But I don't see that happening any time soon, haha. Sorry about that. Uhm, J.K. Rowling, of course, and I also wouldn't mind if Cathy Bramley and Debbie Johnson treated us to a new lovely novel every three months or so!

14) A Few Books Your Heart Adores? 
Oh, my heart adores a lot of books <3


15) What Series's Coming Conclusion Makes You Sad?
Hmmmm. The end of the Twilight series made me a bit sad, but mainly because I thought the last book was a bit disappointing.

16) What Books Are On Your Wish-List?
A lot of books! Check out my Goodreads page for an overview :)


23 September 2016

Review: 'Untethered' by Julie Lawson Timmer (2016)

Char Hawthorn, college professor, wife and stepmother to a spirited fifteen-year-old daughter, loves her family and the joyful rhythms of work and parenting. But when her husband dies in a car accident, the “step” in Char’s title suddenly matters a great deal. In the eyes of the law, all rights to daughter Allie belong to Lindy, Allie’s self-absorbed biological mother, who wants to girl to move to her home in California.

While Allie begins to struggle in school and tensions mount between her and Char, Allie’s connection to young Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she tutors, seems to keep her grounded. But then Morgan, who was adopted out of foster care, suddenly disappears, and Char is left to wonder about a possible future without Allie and what to do about Morgan, a child caught up in a terrible crack in the system.

In 2014 I was introduced to author Julie Lawson Timmer when I was provided with a review copy of her novel ‘Five Days Left’ (click here to read my review). I was blown away by this intense and beautifully written novel and really curious to see what the author would treat us to next. A few months ago I was contacted about Julie’s latest release, ‘Untethered’, and immediately knew this was a review copy I couldn’t possibly say ‘no’ to. I was straight away intrigued by the description of the book and wondered whether it would be able to live up to my expectations after having enjoyed the author’s previous novel so much. I had a good feeling it would, though, and I’m glad to say I wasn’t wrong…! 

Char Hawthorn loves her husband Bradley and the life they have built together as a family with his daughter, and her step-daughter, fifteen-year-old Allie. When Bradley completely unexpectedly dies in a car crush, both Char’s and Allie’s worlds are turned upside down. Not only will Char have to get used to life without her beloved husband, Allie could also disappear from her life because it is now Allie’s biological mother Lindy who gets to call the shots. Luckily Lindy appears to be quite occupied with her own busy life in California, but when Allie’s grief results in her acting out and behaving differently, Char notices the bond between her and Allie is suffering. The only thing that seems to be steady in Allie’s life is her tutor sessions with 10-year-old Morgan, but when something happens to also disturb that, both Allie and Char are suddenly confronted with even more challenges.

I love it whenever I stumble upon a read that completely grabs my attention and I can't help but keep on reading because I'm so curious to discover what will eventually happen to the characters. This was the case with Julie Lawson Timmer's novel 'Five Days Left' and also counts for her latest release 'Untethered', which is another intense and emotional tale I couldn't put down. The novel focuses mainly on Char and her teenage step-daughter Allie, who are both trying to move on after the unexpected passing of their husband/father. I liked both characters and really enjoyed how the author explored their feelings and relationship with each other. Julie Lawson Timmer's writing also suits this kind of novel perfectly; well-paced, gripping and chapters that were neither too long nor too short. 

I usually always read the book blurb before I start a novel, but I somehow didn't this time. Looking back, I do agree with other reviewers that the blurb for this particular novel gives away a lot of information about the story. Yet, there is more than enough left to surprise readers, especially since the novel deals with more than just one topic (family, trust, grief). Because of this it would also make a great book club read since there is a lot to discuss and look at in closer detail. However, I do not only recommend this read to book clubs but also to individual readers, especially women's fiction fans; you don't want to miss out on this one. Overall, 'Untethered' is an incredibly gripping, emotional and simply wonderful read by author Julie Lawson Timmer; I loved it!
Rating:10/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.