Sunday, 27 November 2016

Review - Single by Christmas by Rosa Temple

Single by Christmas was a book that proved to be an absolutely fabulous introduction to Rosa Temple’s writing. It really was a book that was everything it said on the cover and so much more - a funny, heartwarming, feel good Christmas romance - that certainly kept me entertained for hours.

Single by Christmas is told entirely from the perspective of Alex, a young lady who we first meet on Christmas Eve as she sits in the graveyard wondering whether her boyfriend Charlie will turn up to share Midnight Mass with her and her family. Left questioning why Alex is sat alone and why she is so uncertain about whether or not Charlie will arrive, we read about the past month of Alex’s life and her relationship with Charlie and soon discover what has led her to be in the position she now is. Has she managed to destroy her relationship beyond all repair in the space of a month? 

Although I enjoyed the book, I have to say that Alex was a character who really did infuriate me and I have to say that I did not understand her in the slightest. Whilst it’s clear from the way in which she was fiercely protective of her friends that she was a very caring person, it seemed to me that Alex spent a lot of her time in a daydream. She didn’t really pay a lot of attention to what was going on around her, hardly listened to anything that Charlie was saying and often had to cancel dates with Charlie because she had managed to double book herself. For his patience and understanding I think that Charlie deserves a medal, but despite Alex’s ways I could tell both how much Charlie meant to Alex and vice versa so desperately hoped that things would work out between the pair. 

I found Rosa’s writing to be a real treat from beginning to end as it was just so easy to become wrapped up in. Told in a chronological style that made it so very easy to follow, there were lots of hilarious moments throughout that I just had to laugh at. Rosa’s writing was infectious and addictive, something unforgettable that I couldn’t get enough of. 

Despite having Christmas in the title I wouldn’t say that it is the most festive book I’ve read so far this year as instead it tended to focus much more on relationships and the art of appreciating what you have in life. However I can safely say that this book is absolutely perfect for this time of year, a little gem to snuggle up with on the sofa that will definitely keep your spirits raised. Rosa’s certainly an author whose future books I’ll be looking out for. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Review - A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn

Earlier on this year I really enjoyed reading Something Old, Something New by Darcie Boleyn so when I was asked to take part in the blog tour for A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas I really couldn’t say no. It was a truly delightful book, a festive treat that was every bit as fabulous as I hoped it would be and that was by far my favourite of Darcie’s books to date. 

For many people Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but not for Lucie Quigley who hates it for all the unpleasant and difficult memories it triggers. Someone who has always been there for her from a very young age through the best and worst times is Dale, Lucie’s best friend in life. When Lucie is invited to a Christmas wedding in Manhattan by an old friend from university she asks Dale to accompany her as her plus one who accepts the invitation and is keen to support Lucie, hopeful that he can help her to enjoy the festive season. As the pair spend more time together in Manhattan it doesn’t take long for them to realise that they both have feelings for eachother, but will either of them be brave enough to act on them?

What made this book stand out so much was the real depth it had to it and the way it managed to make me feel many different emotions, from happiness to sadness as I both laughed and cried my way through it. The book was full of characters who felt very real, who I felt entirely connected to and really did care about a great deal. As the story progressed and more of Lucie’s heartbreaking past was revealed my admiration for her grew and I was entirely glad that she had someone as wonderful as Dale by her side. I desperately hoped that things would work out well for them both. 

Another aspect of this book that I really loved was Darcie’s beautiful writing style that never faltered once and was just as incredible as it was during Something Old, Something New. She wrote in such a way that there were many times when I felt as though I had been transported to Manhattan to be with the characters in the midst of the action with some wonderful and vivid descriptions. It’s made me want to pursue my dream of going to Manhattan even more than I already did previously and most certainly made for an unforgettable reading experience.

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas was a book that I couldn’t get enough of, one that I could not put down as I desperately turned the pages, eager to find out how things would turn out between both Lucie and Dale. Written by an author whose books seem to get better and better and who has most definitely earned her place in my top ten favouritte authors list, this is a beautiful and magical tale that is complete with snow, carriage rides and much more. I’m really looking forward to reading whatever Darcie writes next! 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Revew - It's Not You, It's Them by Portia MacIntosh

Earlier on this year I had the pleasure of reading Truth or Date by Portia MacIntosh which I simply adored and was so excited to hear that I wouldn’t have to wait long to read It’s Not You, It’s Them. Given how much I enjoyed Truth or Date, it had a lot to live up to, which it more than did and I’d go so far as to say that I enjoyed this book even more than her previous book. If you’re looking for something that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face this winter then this book is definitely for you.

Roxie Pratt is a lifestyle writer who until she met her Prince Charming, Mark Wright, was all too used to kissing frogs. A year into their relationship Roxie is beyond happy when Mark gets down on one knee and asks her to marry him. Having accepted his proposal, Roxie knows that it’s time for her to meet his parents and so a few days before Christmas they make the journey from London to Yorkshire to meet them, something which Roxie’s sure will be absolutely fine. However, upon arriving in Yorkshire it’s clear that news of their son’s engagement was the last thing Mark’s family was expecting and they don’t do much to make Roxie feel very welcome. As Roxie looks forward to returning to London, she’s really not very happy to hear that they’ve been snowed in and won’t be heading home as soon as she’d like to.

I thought that Roxie and Mark were a seriously great couple whose relationship I really hoped would survive the tricky test of Mark’s family who were very quick to judge her. Roxie coped with this in a way which I thought was totally unexpected but at the same time totally brilliant. Portia has created truly wonderful, believable characters in Roxie, Mark and all those who surround them which really helps to make this book as outstanding as it is.
Portia has once again done a truly wonderful job with It’s Not You, It’s Them and has written something that I found to be thoroughly entertaining. The writing style that I grew to love so much whilst reading Truth or Date was most certainly present throughout the whole book and there were so many hilarious and truly unforgettable moments that had me in stitches from laughing so much. It was also a very engaging book, something that can very easily be read in one go or in shorter sittings.

This was the second book of Portia’s that I’ve read and I can guarantee that it will not be the last, as there is just so much to love about what she writes. Portia’s writing seems to get better and better and you can tell that Portia puts so much effort into her stories which results in books that are humorous, uplifting and guaranteed to keep you amused for hours. I’m already looking forward to reading what Portia writes next!­­­

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Review - Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes by Lindsey Paley

I’ve been meaning to make a start on the Camille Carter series of books that are written by Lindsey Paley for a lot longer than I care to remember. With Christmas fast approaching I finally picked up Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes, a book which most certainly got the series off to an amazing start. It’s definitely got me feeling incredibly excited to read the next books in the series, all of which sound and look absolutely fabulous with beautiful covers and divine titles. 

Camille Carter, known as Mille, lives in France and is someone who most definitely prefers sun to snow. After discovering that her French boyfriend has been cheating on her, she decides to return to England for Christmas to stay with her sister. However, things do not turn out as planned and due to a few unforeseen circumstances she ends up at a manor house in Aisford where the plan is for her to run a Christmas cookery course. Arriving in the middle of a massive snow storm, Millie is rather unimpressed and becomes even more so when she learns that the cookery course she was due to host has been cancelled and she has no way of leaving the house because of the bad weather. Just how will things turn out for her? 

The book got off to a wonderful start and wasted no time in throwing the reader straight into the drama-filled life of Millie Carter from the very first page. Millie was one of many characters who was introduced to us throughout this novel, but I thought she was a great character and one who is very memorable for all the right reasons. Throughout the book we saw so many different sides to Millie as we saw her funny side, her brave side and also her vulnerable side, particularly when she spoke of her parents. Undoubtedly she was someone who had a very real talent and passion for cooking, creating some absolutely mouth-watering and delicious food. 

For a relatively short book, Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is a book that has such a lot going on throughout it. Given the genre of the book I thought it was going to be somewhat predictable but that was most certainly not the case, there were twists and turns galore which most certainly kept me on my toes and helped to keep this book as exciting as it was. I particularly loved the dialogue throughout this book, which kept a smile on my face, and the perfect setting of the Lake District.

Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes is a delightful little book that is just perfect for those cosy nights in, wrapped in a blanket with the fire blazing. Whilst this book kept me entertained for many evenings, thanks to the wonderfully engaging writing style it can definitely be read in one sitting if you prefer. A brilliant start to the Camille Carter series of books, which has most certainly helped to get me even more into the Christmas spirit. 

If you'd like the chance to win an ebook of Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes in addition to an actual Christmas cake, enter the giveaway below. Unfortunately, this is UK only giveaway.

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