Tag Archive | The Singalong Society for Singletons

Joe and Clara’s Christmas Countdown by Katey Lovell

joeandclara

Length: 339 pages

As always please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

As Christmas approaches Joe Smith knows he should be celebrating with friends and family, making the most of the season. But for Joe, Christmas only holds painful memories. Ones he can feel crushing his heart, a reminder of a time he can never forget.

Clara O’Connell loves Christmas. For her it is the most magical time of the year. And she’s determined to make Joe love it too! She knows he’s hurting, but maybe she can help to ease his pain. Her plan: One special gift every day to remind Joe just how loved he is.

But the clock is ticking. Will the Christmas magic wear off at midnight or will Clara’s Christmas countdown be the perfect gift to heal Joe’s broken heart? And in doing so, maybe she will get a gift in return…Joe’s love for Christmas and forever…?

The Review: You’ll remember I reviewed The Singalong Society for Singletons (review here) and raved about Three Men and A Maybe (read here ), and knew that Katey Lovell was sealed in my head as someone who’s Christmas reads were to look out for, thanks to sparkly, magical, warm settings that enveloped me like a warm blanket. And so to this-Joe and Clara’s Countdown, a book that did the same in terms of glitter and magic, but didn’t quite hold my attention in terms of drama or lead characters, which was a pity.

So we come into this book knowing that both Joe and Clara have issues, Clara has been cheated on and Joe has had something in his past we need to find out about plus issues with stress. I liked both characters, plus loved that Joe didn’t like Christmas while Clara loved it. And so Clara is charged with changing Joe’s opinion of Christmas. So far, so yay! It was a very descriptive book, which I’m not normally a fan of, but so magical, dreamy and faraway in terms of Christmassyness, that I was kept interested and smiling as we followed Clara’s journey to convince Joe of the majesty of Christmas. And this book had it all in terms of the festive season, people would be hard done by to not find themselves warming at all the traditions, some I knew, others I didn’t, as Clara and Joe manned Christmas at The Club Around The Corner, a youth club in bad need of funding, with the brilliantly forward Deirdre.

To be honest I missed any sense of urgency surrounding the plight of the club, and missed finding out a little bit more about the kids, which would have helped me feel for it a bit more. This seemed to be my problem throughout actually, as although I wanted to delve into Joe’s past, I didn’t feel any sort of a ‘will they, won’t they’. Instead I found myself wondering what was taking them so long, and even when their reasons were revealed, I just didn’t connect with them, and I think that was my problem.

I loved the references that were right up my alley, with X factor and Simon Cowell mentioned, Take That, Foo Fighters, Blink 182, Morecambe and Wise Christmas special, Gameboys and Morrissey having me nod along! All in all I think people who like light romance with some beautiful Christmas description. Conversely the people who generally skip descriptiveness, might not enjoy this as for me I was more invested in the magic of Christmas as opposed to Clara or Joe and their story or relationship. Saying that I am still a huge fan of the author, and will definitely look out her next book and hopefully it will strike the same chord as the two previous to this.

Thanks so much to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Advertisements

The Singalong Society for Singletons by Katey Lovell

thesingalongsociety

Length: 235 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

A charming, feel good novel about the healing powers of friendship…and Frozen!

Monique and Issy are teachers, housemates and lovers of musicals! Their Friday night routine consists of snacks, wine and the Frozen DVD. So when Monique’s boyfriend moves to America for a year and her sister Hope moves in because of her own relationship woes, Friday nights get a new name… ‘The Singalong Society for Singletons’!

It’s a chance to get together, sing along to their favourite tracks from the best-loved West End shows, and forget the worries of work, relationships and love (or lack of it). But when Issy shares the details of their little group further afield, they get some unexpected new members who might just change their opinions on singledom for good….

The Review: You may remember by review of Three Men and A Maybe (review here) where I said that it was just a bit of a standy outy one for me (no it’s not an actual phrase and yes, I am still going to use it;)) and I’m happy to say that this pretty much matched it in terms of a book with that smile out loud factor. I really, really enjoyed this. As you can see it’s the story of Monique (I’d take her to be the main character in it anyhoo, although the blurb seems to say differently!), who opens the story with the planning of a proposal (beautifully and brilliantly done), that doesn’t quite go to plan.

Trying to figure out what to do, her and her housemate, Issy (who I love!) happen upon an excellent (and it really is!) idea, that instead of doing the whole pub/ night club thing, they’ll start up a Friday night get together where they watch their favourite musicals and sing along to them. I have to jump back a little actually, because the real start of the book is the list of musicals, which excited me so much (I’m not a theatre goer, I enjoy the film version more, I know, this is sacriligous to say, but I do!) as it had Singing In The Rain in there, Frozen (must be watched even if you don’t have kids!), Little shop of horrors and so much more. The cast listing told us the characters of the book and I was interested to see who had a leading role, and who was sidelined.

The characters were perfection (I adored issy AND Connie AND Hope!), each with very different personalities that matched and clashed in just the right places (I have to admit my least favourite was Monique as I found her to be a tad self absorbed, you’ll see that from the fact that she’s the only one I didn’t mention above and I feel guilty for that, I really do!), and all with something going on (I loved that each of the characters had their own issues, which were vivid and funny, dramatic and sad). I have to admit I did wonder how this would work out romance-wise, and I wasn’t disappointed when the male party was introduced (superbly done, in my humble opinion!)

I won’t lie, this is more of a book for later in the year, and I regret I didn’t review this earlier (damn rural internet!), possibly nearer to Christmas, but you can bookmark or buy at any time of the year so, in that respect, I’m setting you up for a good Winter read. This is one for the die hard musical fan, who will appreciate the nod to the musical that is named at the beginning of each chapter, or the person, like me, who isn’t totally, but just appreciates a bright, sparkly story that has just enough grit to hold it’s own joined with an excellent host of characters. Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

Short story: Three Men and A Maybe by Katey Lovell

threemenandamaybe

Length: 59 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link

What they say: It’s the age-old saying. You wait all day for a bus, and then three come along at once. But proposals? That’s just ridiculous. And yet, on New Year’s Eve, as the countdown finishes and the whole pub erupts in celebrations, Cerys finds herself staring at her ex-fiancé, Ricky. Who just so happens to be kneeling on the floor, ring in hand, asking her to marry him. Again.

And if that weren’t enough, hot barman Angelo, and longtime friend Huw also decide to pop the question. At the exact same time.

Three men, two real contenders, but just one choice. What on earth will she do?

The Review: I’d read a few of Katey Lovell’s short stories before (I’m afraid I haven’t reviewed them on the blog yet so here’s the Amazon link-make sure to check them out and her new book ‘The Singalong Society for Singletons,’ which is on my Kindle and to be read very soon here ) and as I did I kind of nodded and smiled. They were nice, romantic, enjoyable, short reads that were perfect for getting you out of reading slumps.

This story was just a little bit edgier, and had me sitting up, just a little more. We meet Cerys, the designated driver on New Years Eve, watching people become drunker and drunker around her. It had all the trademark activities of a night out-too high heels being discarded, friends getting with strange guys in pub corners and crazy dancing and I was there, almost experiencing it all. There was a jump back of eighteen months and we got an insight into one aspect of Cerys’ old life, and then we went back years further, with the descriptions of the background settings putting you, the reader, back to the time too, with excellent additional little descriptions that really added to the effect.

I have to say this was a very satisfying read and is actually free on Amazon so definitely one to download and has me looking forward to her full length novel, The Singalong Society for Singletons, which, as I said above, I’m looking forward to reading very, very soon!

Rating: 5/5