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31 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Graphic Novels I'd Love to Check Out

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, so this feature fits me perfectly! If you also take part in this feature or have any additions to my lists, please get in touch; I'd love to hear from you!
 
 
10 Graphic Novels I'd Love to Check Out

Ever since I read ´Persepolis´ for one of my university courses I have been meaning to check out more graphic novels. However, I have never actually gone out and bought a graphic novel, which is something that really needs to change. This week´s Top Ten Tuesday actually got me looking at the graphic novels that are out there and I might be interested in, and I have to say it got me quite excited...! Check out some of my favourites below :)

Be sure to share your own TTT's in the comments section below; I'd love to hear from you! 



1. 'Pride and Prejudice'



I can read anything Jane Austen related, so when it comes to graphic novels, Jane's stories are definitely at the top of my lost...!




2. 'Sense and Sensibility'



One more Austen title, I promise that's it for this week's Top Ten Tuesday list...!




3. 'Lumberjanes'



Five best friends spending the summer together at scout camp... This sounds like just a great and fun read; I'd really love to check this out sometime.




4. 'Girl Genius'



I'm actually not a 100% sure this is my kind of read, but I like the sound of it and I might end up surprised, you never know...




5. 'Babysitters Club Graphic Novels'



Do I even need to explain?



6. 'Marvel's Oz Comic Series'



I'd love to check out this graphic novel exploring the story of 'The Wizard of Oz'.



7. 'Wonderland'



A touch of 'Alice in Wonderland' and you can count me in...!




8. 'Little Women'



Another classic I'd love to read as a graphic novel.




9. 'Ms. Marvel'



I really like anything Marvel, so I think this would also be interesting to check out!



10. 'Jem and the Holograms'



Another one I've heard a lot about and think I could really enjoy...!

30 January 2017

February 2017 Releases!

We're already one month into 2017 which means it's time to have a sneak peek at some of the February book releases that are coming up and which I'm most excited about! I decided to just go with a selection of a few titles I really can't wait to pick up myself instead of a whole list of new releases this time around, so be sure to have a look through and share some of your own favourites in the comments section below! 

'The Wedding Promise' - Emma Hannigan (2 February)

Restoring a Spanish villa brings Shelly back to the place she and her husband once loved, fulfilling the promise he made that they would return. But as plans to transform the villa into a romantic wedding venue take shape, Shelly discovers her children may need the move more than she does.

Her son Jake has begun to question the things he values most: his career as a pilot, his relationship with his girlfriend. Could Spain offer him the change he's seeking? Shelly's daughter Leila arrives with a new-born baby in tow, but then hears some startling news she wasn't expecting. As Casa Maria takes its first booking, will it turn out to be more than a romantic promise made all those years ago? Perhaps a second chance at new beginnings?

 

'The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts' - Jennifer Joyce (8 February)

From fairy cakes to first dates!

Maddie Lamington’s dreams are crumbling around her. If she doesn’t come up with a plan to save her little teashop on Sweet Street soon, it might be too late…

So when she sees how the perfect apple crumble brings together her lonely father and faithful customer Birdie, inspiration strikes: she’ll set up a dating night involving all her sweetest bakes.

Luckily, seriously gorgeous Caleb is on hand to help sprinkle a little magic – and a lot of sugar! Could one night of scrumptious first dates fix Maddie’s heartbreak and save her beloved teashop, too?

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads
 

'Before You Go' - Clare Swatman (9 February)

When Zoe's husband Ed dies, her world caves in. But what if Zoe can get Ed back?

You find your soulmate...

Some people stare love in the face for years before they find it. Zoe and Ed fumbled their way into adulthood, both on different paths - but always in the same direction. Years later, having navigated dead-end jobs and chaotic house shares, romance finally blossoms. Their future together looks set...

Then the unthinkable happens.

One morning, on his way to work, Ed is knocked off his bike and dies. Now Zoe must find a way to survive. But she's not ready to let go of the memories. How can she forget all of the happy times, their first kiss, everything they'd built together? Zoe decides she has to tell Ed all the things she never said.

Now it's too late. Or is it?

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads
 

'Turn Towards the Sun' - Emma Davies (9 February)

Lizzie wants nothing more than to start over and put the past behind her. So when she is offered the chance to live and work at Rowan Hill, a beautiful country estate and bustling community of artists, it feels like a dream come true.

But soon after her arrival a series of accidents and misunderstandings begins to threaten the happiness and livelihoods of everyone at Rowan Hill. And when suspicion quickly falls on Lizzie, she discovers that the past is not so easily forgotten.

To keep the life she has just begun to build, Lizzie will have to race to uncover the truth before there are disastrous repercussions for everyone involved. In this heartwarming story of friendship, loss and love, the stakes are high but so are the rewards. If Lizzie can find a way to stay true to herself, she might have a chance at something she has always wanted: a place to call home.

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads
 

'The Secret to Falling in Love' - Victoria Cooke (9 February)

Status Update: I’m going offline for a while… Wish me luck! xx

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta's and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

 

'My Not So Perfect Life' - Sophie Kinsella (9 February)

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers. 

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business. 

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman who has everything – actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. 

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads
 

'A Song for Tomorrow' - Alice Peterson (9 February)

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world. 

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads
 

'The Summer Seaside Kitchen' - Jenny Colgan (9 February)

Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It's a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel.

When a new client demands Flora's presence back on Mure, she's suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour, she's also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes - and work out exactly where her future lies...

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads
 

'The Young Wives Club' - Julie Pennell (14 February)

Laura Landry's quarterback husband was her ticket out of Toulouse. But when a devastating football injury sidelines him, they're forced to move back to the small town she was so desperate to leave. As Brian starts drinking instead of rehabbing his knee, Laura must reevaluate what her future looks like...and if it includes her husband. 

For years, Madison Blanchette has been waiting for bad-boy musician Cash Romero to commit to her. When wealthy George Dubois asks her out, she figures she may as well wait in style. Life with George means weekend trips to New Orleans, gourmet meals, and expensive gifts. At first she loves how George's affection sparks Cash's jealousy, but when George proposes to Madison, she finds herself torn between two men... 

All Claire Thibodeaux wants is to be the perfect wife and mother. If she can do everything right she won't end up like her mom, a divorced, single parent trying to make ends meet. But when Claire's husband Gavin, a well-respected local pastor, starts spending late nights at work and less time in their bed, she can't help but fear that history is about to repeat itself... 

Gabrielle Vaughn never thought she'd end up with someone like her fiance. The son of a prominent congressman, Tony Ford is completely out of her league--which is why she lied to him about everything from having a college degree to the dark truth about her family. She knows she has to come clean, but how do you tell the love of your life that your entire relationship is a lie? 

As these young wives come together to help each other through life, love, and heartbreak, they discover that there are no easy answers when it comes to matters of the heart.
Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads
 

'City of Friends' - Joanna Trollope (23 February)

She glanced at her phone again. There were appeals from the girls, from her colleagues, a text from Steve reading with uncharacteristic imperiousness, 'Call me.' She couldn't. She couldn't call anyone ...She leaned forward, gripping the edge of the bench, and stared at the ground. God, she thought, am I losing my mind? Is this what happens when you lose your job? 

The day Stacey Grant loses her job feels like the last day of her life. Or at least, the only life she'd ever known. For who was she if not a City high-flyer, Senior Partner at one of the top private equity firms in London? As Stacey starts to reconcile her old life with the new - one without professional achievements or meetings, but instead, long days at home with her dog and ailing mother, waiting for her successful husband to come home - she at least has The Girls to fall back on. Beth, Melissa and Gaby. The girls, now women, had been best friends from the early days of university right through their working lives, and for all the happiness and heartbreaks in between. But these career women all have personal problems of their own, and when Stacey's redundancy forces a betrayal to emerge that was supposed to remain secret, their long cherished friendships will be pushed to their limits ...

29 January 2017

Review: 'Sweet Pursuits' by Pauline Wiles (2017)

What’s the recipe for a second chance at love?

After six blissful years with scientist boyfriend Owen, Bella Beecham was convinced he was about to pop the question she’d been longing to hear. Instead, he accepted a prestigious job in California and left England without a backwards glance. Now, Owen’s back in the village of Saffron Sweeting, and appears to be more eligible than ever. Bella’s determined that the man of her dreams won’t slip through her fingers again.

But her plans to tone up, trim down, and tempt Owen back into her life prove bittersweet. Although Bella’s talent for baking wins her new friends, her tasty treats have a disconcerting tendency to sabotage her own intentions. And as her increasingly bold attempts to recapture Owen’s heart stumble, Bella must question whether she’s chasing a guy who wants to be caught.

A few years ago author Pauline Wiles released her debut novel 'Saving Saffron Sweeting.' I remember reading several things about the book on Twitter and other blogs, but I never actually got to reading the novel myself. A prequel titled 'Secrets in the Sky' followed the first book and on the 26th of January already the third part in the series was released, 'Sweet Pursuits.' Pauline contacted me with the question whether I'd be interested in reviewing her latest release, especially since it can be read as a stand-alone. I liked the sound of the book and have to admit I was quite looking forward to finally stepping foot into the village of Saffron Sweeting myself!

Bella Beecham can't help it; she's still hung up on her ex-boyfriend Owen. Even though Owen left her for a promising job in the USA after having been together for six years and when Bella was actually expecting a proposal, not a break-up. Now, several years later, Owen is suddenly coming back to Saffron Sweeting and Bella is determined to win him back. The first thing she decides to do is slim down, but it's proving quite a challenge to turn down all bakery goods and instead focus on working out. After warnings from her friends Bella starts to question her mission: will Owen really make her happy or should she actually be looking somewhere else...?

I have to admit I am usually a bit hesitant when it comes to picking up parts of a book series as stand-alones. I'm just one of those readers that likes to know all the history and background details when diving into a story, and with a series it's usually better to start at the very beginning in order to get all those details. 'Sweet Pursuits' is the third part of Pauline Wiles' 'Saving Saffron Sweeting' series, and while I was definitely a bit confused at the beginning because of all the different characters and the feeling I was missing some knowledge about the history between them, I got into the story quite easily and enjoyed reading it. Main character Bella is on a mission to win back her ex-boyfriend Owen and I was able to root for her and also relate to her in specific ways. Bella is a realistic character, who for example wants to lose weight but is finding it quite tricky, and I really appreciated the way the author decided to tackle Bella's mission and portray things in a realistic and relatable way.

I think there's a good message at the centre of this novel. Many of us are looking for that man or woman that will make everything alright; if we're together with them all our problems will be solved. Yet, it's not as simple as that. We need to find happiness in more aspects in our life, and this story focuses on Bella working on just that. I really liked how much Bella loves baking and would love another part of the series focusing mainly on her baking adventures. While it took me a bit of time, I've definitely warmed to Saffron Sweeting and its inhabitants and am quite curious to check out the other parts of the series. Overall, 'Sweet Pursuits' is a charming and enjoyable chick lit read; a novel that can be read as a stand-alone and a lovely visit to the town of Saffron Sweeting!
Rating:8,5/10
 
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.

27 January 2017

Review: 'The House of New Beginnings' by Lucy Diamond (2017)

Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city's history, but it's also a place of brand new beginnings.

Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city's delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she's sliding into all kinds of trouble . . .

Charlotte's in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she's suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it's a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa's passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

As the three tenants find each other, it's as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun.

One of the very first review copies I received when I started as a book blogger several years ago was Lucy Diamond's 'Me and Mr. Jones.' I still remember the soft yellow cover and how incredibly excited I was to have received an actual book from a UK publisher to review on my blog. Since then, this author has been kind of special to me, and it helps that I also always thoroughly enjoy her stories. For that reason I am both thankful and excited to be able to share my review of her sparkling new release, 'The House of New Beginnings', with all of you today! I received a review copy of the book and couldn't wait to get started on it. Over the years, Lucy's stories have only gotten better and better and I had good hopes this one wouldn't be any different...!

Georgie, Charlotte and Rosa at first sight appear to have just one thing in common; they are all living in the same Regency terrace on the seafront of Brighton, but all three of them have been dealing with big changes in their lives and are trying their best to start over. Georgie has followed her boyfriend to Brighton but decides it is also a good time for her to work on her ambitions of becoming a journalist. This new job gets her into a few tricky situations, though... Rosa has left her London life behind to start over working as a sous chef in Brighton, but is she really able to move on with her life and what is it she really wants? Charlotte is also running away from her past, but her attempts to stay alone go unnoticed by her elderly upstairs neighbour Margot, who decides Charlotte needs some more excitement in her life. Brighton has quite a bit in store for Georgie, Charlotte and Rosa, whether they're ready for it or not...

I really enjoyed Lucy Diamond's previous novel, 'The Year of Taking Chances', and had my fingers crossed I'd enjoy this new book of hers, 'The House of New Beginnings', just as much, and I'm glad to say I definitely did! 'The House of New Beginnings' is filled with three great storylines featuring three different but just as interesting female characters in the form of Rosa, Georgie and Charlotte. All three of them have been through quite a lot and are now rebuilding their lives at the Brighton seaside. As tenants in the same Regency building, they soon get in touch with one another and face their problems together. I really loved the friendship and courage that's present in this book, and how the story both made me want to cry and smile, sometimes even at the same time!

While I usually prefer to read novels with a lot of dialogue, I really didn't mind the sometimes lengthy descriptions in this novel. Somehow the author just managed to make it all work and I wasn't bored by the story at any time. I just loved warming to and getting to know the characters, following them during this period in their lives and seeing what would eventually happen to all of them. I definitely recommend this novel to any chick lit/rom com/women's fiction fans out there, especially if you're not yet familiar with Lucy Diamond. All in all, 'The House of New Beginnings' is a wonderfully warm and captivating read with fantastic female characters at its core; a read that has made me an even bigger fan of this author (if that was possible...)!
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.

26 January 2017

Upcoming Release: 'My Not So Perfect Life' by Sophie Kinsella

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers. 

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business. 

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams - or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman who has everything – actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems. 

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

I'm pretty sure any chick lit fan out there is aware that Sophie Kinsella will be releasing a sparkling new novel in February. 'My Not So Perfect Life' already sounds like an incredibly promising read and I really can't wait to check it out myself. I've always loved Sophie Kinsella's novels and it's great to have a completely new story waiting for us this February... I have a feeling it's going to be a great one! 

25 January 2017

Review: 'My Sweet Revenge' by Jane Fallon (2017)

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.

Let me explain. This isn't an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven't been reading articles in old women's magazines. 'Twenty ways to keep your man'. That couldn't be further from the truth.

I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he'll care. He won't just think, 'Oh good'.

I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert's back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he's one of the nation's most popular actors. And Paula's just discovered he's having an affair.

She's going to remind Robert just what he's sacrificing. And then she's going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.

Revenge is sweet. Isn't it?

Jane Fallon is one of those women's fiction authors that has been on the scene for quite a few years already, but somehow I've never read more than one of her novels ('Got You Back', several years ago). Her name was at the top of my list of authors I definitely planned on reading another book by in 2017, and luckily I managed to get a review copy of her latest release, 'My Sweet Revenge', via NetGalley. I liked the sound of this novel, which was released by publisher Penguin on January 12th, and was most of all keen to once again try out some of Jane Fallon's writing, because I remember really quite enjoying the other novel of hers I've read and hoped it would end up being the same for this one!

Paula and Robert were the perfect match when they met when they were both at drama school; and now, almost twenty years later, after Paula gave up her own career to support Robert's, they are still together. But when Paula discovers Robert has been cheating on her with one of his colleagues, she realises their marriage has actually been over for quite some time already. Paula is determined to not walk away without a fight, though; she decides to do everything she can to make Robert fall in love with her all over again, so when she does decide to walk away, it will hurt, the same way he hurt her. But is revenge really what Paula is craving or will she come to regret her taste for it when all is said and done?

I have to admit I can really enjoy a good revenge story every now and again, and I'm glad to say Jane Fallon's latest release 'My Sweet Revenge' definitely did the trick. The story focuses on protagonist Paula, who knows her marriage isn't exactly what it used to be but is still shocked when she discovers her husband Robert has been sneaking around with one of his celebrity colleagues behind her back. Instead of confronting him with it straight away, Paula decides she wants to get her revenge by making Robert fall in love with her all over again before dumping him. The story is told from mainly Paula's POV and it didn't take me long at all to start rooting for her. I really admire Paula for how she decides to fight back and not just let Robert get away with what he has been doing.

One of the things I particularly liked about this novel is the writing style of author Jane Fallon. It was really easy going, with a lot of dialogue, and chapters of a good length (not too long, not too short). Next to that, the author managed to create both characters I fell in love with (such as Paula) and characters I intensely disliked (such as Robert and Saskia), while still wanting to read on and see what would eventually happen to all of them. I don't know why it took me so long to once again pick up a Jane Fallon read, but I'm really glad I did and already can't wait to read another one of her works. All in all, 'My Sweet Revenge' is a witty, satisfying and enjoyable read that I can recommend to all women's fiction fans; one of my favourites of 2017 so far!
Rating:9,5/10
 
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.

24 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: My Next 10 Reads

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, so this feature fits me perfectly! If you also take part in this feature or have any additions to my lists, please get in touch; I'd love to hear from you!
 
 
My Next 10 Reads

It's a freebie Tuesday this week, so I decided to make a list of the books I'm planning on reading next. I've decided to stop book blogging in the near future, so I'm currently busy making sure I can keep all promises made and read and review all books I still have waiting for me. These 10 have been part of my TBR-list for quite some time now, so I look forward to finally picking them up and checking them out!

Be sure to share your own TTT's in the comments section below; I'd love to hear from you! 



1. 'A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother' - Christie Barlow



I've had the pleasure of reading several of Christie Barlow's other books up until now, so I'm curious to finally check out this one!



2. 'Mixing It Up' - Tracie Banister



I loved loved loved Tracie Banister's novel 'Twin Piques' and have pretty high hopes for this other novel by her.




3. 'Summer at Rose Island' - Holly Martin



It's definitely not a punishment to have a Holly Martin read waiting for you; can't wait to catch a bit of sunshine with this summery chick lit read.




4. 'The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen' - Ada Bright & Cass Grafton



I'm REALLY excited about this Jane Austen inspired novel... Really hope I will enjoy it as much as I'm expecting to. 



5. 'An East End Girl' - Maggie Ford



I love a good war-time/historical romance every now and again and am not yet familiar with author Maggie Ford.



6. 'Smoke' - Catherine McKenzie



It's definitely time I finally dive into this novel!



7. 'The Good Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Even' - Anna Bell



I've only got love for Anna Bell and am really excited to read her latest release sometime soon <3




8. 'The Shogun's Queen' - Lesley Downer



This novel sounds like a really intriguing story and I look forward to picking it up in the next month or so.



9. 'There is Always More to Say' - Lynda Spiro



Another review request I received quite some time ago and I really hope I will be able to start reading it as soon as possible.



10. 'Who Does He Think He Is' - Emily Kerr


I love the cover of this novel, let's hope the story inside fits it!