My March Bookish Wrap Up!

Please note: if you don’t have the time to read through the post, the pics link to the reviews! Enjoy:)

allaboardsleeplessinmanhattenholdingoutforaherotapestryroomnataliesgettingmarriedthetreacheryoftrainsdeardadtherunawaybridesmaidKitty'scountryside

Another good month in books! It all began with me giving my book of the year so far seal of approval to The Canal Boat Cafe book number 1: All aboard by Cressida McLoughlin, chick lit at its beautiful, descriptive, gripping best! I was torn on Sleepless in Manhatten by Sarah Morgan, which grabbed me with  its building a business form nothing storyline, kept me happy with its comedy, and yet didn’t quite hit the mark Christmas Ever After had done.

I was thrilled to be part of the Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van Tiem’s book tour with Hello Chick Lit, where 80’s was the era of the day, definitely one for any eighties fan! Tapestry by Elle Turner mesmerized me with its beautiful mixture of slightly dark stories, and, speaking of dark, I finally reviewed and raved about Room by Emma Donoghue.The Runaway Bridesmaid by Daisy James was a bit too flowery for me, I’m afraid, but I acknowledged that it could be a very popular book, as I did with Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow, which didn’t go the way I expected.

Natalie’s Getting Married gave me chick lit heaven, The Treachery of Trains gave me a lovely, slightly dark, european rom com, and Dear Dad by Giselle Green gave me a gorgeous rom com about three characters on a journey to find their place.

I had a lovely interview with Rosa Temple, and did my first, and only ‘Stacking the Shelves‘ Post (Unfortunately I’m trying to cut down on books at the moment, my volume books on Netgalley are weighing me down!). I also posted on the books I use for writing, which is starting to take off again, I’m currently 10,000 words into book 2, not much, but an achievement for me (I was 20,000 words into a different book 2 and it wasn’t working, so I put it aside and was feeling quite despondent but now I’m all excited again:)). I’m still trying to get it together in terms of a solid blogging presence, and figure out my timetable, but hopefully I’ll get there.

Hope you all had a great month too, let me know in the comments!

Bernadette:)

 

 

 

The Runaway Bridesmaid by Daisy James

therunawaybridesmaid

Amazon US

Amazon UK

What they say: A deliciously enchanting read, The Runaway Bridesmaid is set to steal readers’ hearts and keep them guessing until the very last page!

What a girl wants…

Squeezing herself into a frothy, flouncy, bubble-gum pink dress, Rosie Hamilton thinks that being a bridesmaid for her spoilt little sister Freya can’t get any worse.

But discovering her boyfriend in a cupboard with the bride, ten minutes before Freya is due to say ‘I do’, is the icing on the sequinned wedding cake – and Rosie’s cue to pack her bags.

Swapping her Louboutins for Wellingtons, Rosie throws her bridesmaid bouquet in the air and flies from bustling New York to sleepy Devon. Her late Aunt Bernice’s cosy countryside cottage is the only place that’s ever felt like home.

Now, for the first time in her life, and with the help of her beloved Aunt’s diaries, Rosie must put herself first for a change – and decide what she really wants…

A delightful romance, perfect for fans of Sophie Hart and Lindsey Kelk!

The review: I cannot tell you how much I wanted to adore this book. The cover, the blurb, it’s every chick lit lovers dream. Possibly I’d built it up a little, but whatever it was I’m afraid this wasn’t the book for me.

The premise, as you’ll see above, is that Rosie Hamilton walks in on her boyfriend and sister in the cupboard, em, at it. Rosie is aghast and runs away to her late Aunt Bernice’s cottage in Devon. From the very start of the book I knew I was going to have some problems with Rosie. So here’s the thing, you try to be impartial and give everyone a chance, but Rosie was, em, quite difficult to like. In a book that was brimming with  lovely characters, I couldn’t stand the main one. Not good.

My issue was that from the very start of the book we were belted over the eyes, mostly from Rosie, with how ‘poor Rosie’ (not being sarcastic, just quoting) was always being walked on, and never did anything for herself, just looked after other people all the time and after a while my notes about the book started to be solely about Rosie, and not in a good way. In short I couldn’t believe anyone could be so selfish or self absorbed! This was a pity, and just goes to show how subjective a book is- because a lot of the reviews I read never mentioned that they found her in anyway difficult. The characters in general were quite well done, I loved Charlie, one of the love interests, enjoyed Lauren and Emily, and in particular loved the older characters of the book, Rosie’s father and what we learned of her Aunt Bernice through her diary/ cookbook, which was where I found the story at it’s strongest, then there was her aunt’s friend Susan. The cookbook was great, with Rosie trying her hand at her aunt’s delicious treats, which had names and descriptions pertaining to how they would help Rosie, which I thought was genius! A weakening of the story was actually in connection with Rosie again, and the fact that there seemed to be a premise to the story that the only way anyone can have a ‘happy ever after’ was to find their prince, which I found a little sad.

The descriptions in the book were beautifully done, although at times perhaps a little too flowery, and that language sometimes found itself creeping into dialogue, which made the dialogue unrealistic to me. I did love the story line, if perhaps tweaked a little, a bit more confrontation at the start would have made it more believable than her ditching her father for so long.

All in all I was undecided as to what to give this book, but because I did actually enjoy the storyline of it so much and would recommend that other people try it (only after looking at the ‘look inside’ option, or flicking through the first few pages), I’ve decided.

Rating: Unfortunately 3/5

The week ahead in books …

This week I’ve three books planned, obviously if I get to more I’ll let you know, but now, on Monday morning, this is my plan!

tapestry

What they say: In hope, in pain,
we lose, we gain,
but always and forever
the human heart braves life
in light and in shade

A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love.

I am only 5% into this and already I’m hooked. Actually I was hooked on the very first page. I originally chose this book because I had seen it on a number of blogs and was taken with not only the cover, but the name too. ‘Tapestry’ for a book of short stories. Brilliant!

therunawaybridesmaid

What they say: A deliciously enchanting read, The Runaway Bridesmaid is set to steal readers’ hearts and keep them guessing until the very last page!

What a girl wants…

Squeezing herself into a frothy, flouncy, bubble-gum pink dress, Rosie Hamilton thinks that being a bridesmaid for her spoilt little sister Freya can’t get any worse.

But discovering her boyfriend in a cupboard with the bride, ten minutes before Freya is due to say ‘I do’, is the icing on the sequinned wedding cake – and Rosie’s cue to pack her bags.

Swapping her Louboutins for Wellingtons, Rosie throws her bridesmaid bouquet in the air and flies from bustling New York to sleepy Devon. Her late Aunt Bernice’s cosy countryside cottage is the only place that’s ever felt like home.

Now, for the first time in her life, and with the help of her beloved Aunt’s diaries, Rosie must put herself first for a change – and decide what she really wants…

A delightful romance, perfect for fans of Sophie Hart and Lindsey Kelk!

I’m a sucker for a pretty chick lit cover and you don’t get much prettier than this in the world of chick lit! Throw in all the five star reviews and raves I’d seen and I went straight to Amazon. Looking forward to reading.

thelostandfoundlife

What they say: Rosy loved her London life – her job in a designer shop, her gorgeous West London family house and of course her gorgeous family (although young sons are enough to test anyone at times). All that disappears when, one unremarkable morning, after one unremarkable school run, her husband collapses on a crowded tube carriage and dies.
As she struggles her way through the grief, she discovers her husband’s secret life: secrets accounts, secret deals that their solicitor knew nothing of, secret debts and what looks like a secret “very close friend” at least.
Totally unprepared and suddenly in debt, Rosy is forced to leave London to start a new life with her incredibly reluctant boys in the countryside. Can angsty urban teenagers cope with farm life, let alone enjoy it? More to the point, can their mother? It’s certainly not going to be easy but when you are at rock bottom the only way is up.

When I saw this going around for review, I jumped at it! The cover, the blurb, the whole premise-heartbreak coupled with a story of starting afresh? Very much looking forward to it!

As well as this I’ll be delving into my writer’s arsenal to help myself with book 2 (see them here!) So tell me, what are your reading plans this week? Any books you can’t wait to get at? Any books that you’re picking up again, hoping they’ll pull you out of a slump? Looking forward to hearing all, happy reading everyone:)

Bernadette