#bookreview: The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts by Jennifer Joyce

Format: E-book (Kindle)
Publisher: HQ Digital
Published: 8th February 2017
Pages: 238 Pages

The Blurb
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?

Purchase the book: Amazon UK

The Review

Well, what can I say? I’ve found a beautiful and gooey chick-lit novel that I have completely fell in love with. I absolutely loved The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts, and I would shout it out from the rooftops.

Maddie loves to bake, so what better way to celebrate her hobby by opening a cute little teashop in her home city of Manchester. All of Maddie’s bakes make people happy and bring people together and this is what she’s always wanted. However, things aren’t going well for the tea shop, why aren’t people visiting? what can she do to make things right?

Maddie and her baking team come up with an idea to rocket the teashop onto the front page of every newspaper, but most of all to get people through the door. I won’t spoil too much for you, but let’s just say, the idea pairs delicious sweet treats with love. No, it’s not a kinky sex game or anything, it’s sweet, caring and a great idea!

The characters included a selection of friends and staff from the tea shop and also, Maddie’s Mum and Dad. I loved how you felt like you’d known them all your life. Each was well thought out and described perfectly, but not too much where thought they were overpowering. Maddie was my favourite, but a close second was Maddie’s friend Mags – she was ballsy and soft-centered a nice balance for Maddie and her self-doubting ways. Mags did encourage Maddie to be positive, something we all need in our lives in a time of doubt.

I wish there was a selection of recipes of what Maddie baked listed in the book because I often found myself wanting to try her treats, some of them I’d never heard of – is that bad? To a reader, I would recommend making a cup of tea and having something sweet to hand, as you’ll crave cake SO BADLY once you jump in.

The Little Teashop of Broken Hearts is sweet, funny and endearing – a perfect combination.

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#bookreview: Wrong Number by Carys Jones

Format: E-book (Kindle)
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Published: 1st December 2016
Pages: 282 Pages
Series: #1 in series

The Blurb
A missing husband. Mysterious calls. And the biggest lie of them all.

Read with caution – you may never want to answer your phone again…

Will and Amanda Thorne are living the dream until, one day, their phone rings. Within 24 hours, Will is missing and Amanda’s world is shattered. Who was on the phone? Where has Will gone?

Amanda is determined to find her husband and is drawn into a world of drug dealers, criminal masterminds and broken promises.

Purchase the book: Amazon UK

The Review

Amanda Thorne’s husband goes missing and even with assistance from the police, they’re all struggling to figure out the reason why he’s disappeared. Her mother and ex-boyfriend (who is part of the investigation) believe Will was (or is it is?) a bad guy – they just can’t find an ounce of gratitude for the man – but surely his disappearance is an act of abduction?

Using her skills as a computer-wiz, Amanda tries to find out as much about Will’s disappearance as she can. Her past exploits lie within the Dark Web, a part of the Internet that has no bounds – legally or morally – this place can do wonderful things! From a fellow computer-loving; coding geek, I loved reading about Amanda’s website design business and how she used her computer knowledge to help with the search. It’s not every day you read about a character that has a similar job to yourself, more girls should get into coding (exclude the slight sexism).

For the duration of the novel you’re trying to figure out why Will has gone missing. However, you’re taken on many unexpected journeys to the solution because things pop up and make you question what you think. Amanda receives some unwelcome signs: firstly, the unexplained “wrong number” phone call and secondly, the disconcerning message on her car – who is leaving these messages? I will admit that I really didn’t know why he went missing and more importantly, if they’d ever find him.

Wrong Number is the first in the series, so I’m keen to read Last Witness, book number two! Here’s a glimpse:

“McCallister’s world is one of seedy nightclubs, drug deals and beautiful women, but he is a hard man to get close to. As Amanda gets deeper and deeper into his dangerous world, what secrets from the past will come back to haunt her, and will she be able to protect the last witness to the truth?”

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#bookreview: Paper Towns by John Green

Well, I’m back! As my previous post explained, I was going through a really tough time; something that not many people knew about. However, I am getting better, it’ll take some time to get t0 100%, but I know I’ll get there.

During my little absence, I bought a new laptop, which means lots of new blog posts coming up – no more writing on my mobile.

So, Happy Monday, I give you a new book review – enjoy!

Paper Towns CoverFormat: Paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: 19th December 2016
Pages: 305 Pages

The Blurb
Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

Masterfully written by John Green, this is a thoughtful, insightful and hilarious coming-of-age story.

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository

The Review

I’ll firstly start off by saying that I saw Paper Towns the film before I read the book, which I never do! No, Clare, you should always read the book first, the books are always better! (You may disagree with me on this, though!)

I knew about John Green when The Fault in Our Stars made an appearance. The book was great, so it was only natural that I gave another Green novel a go. Paper Towns was given to me as a gift, so that was the next one for me.

Right from the beginning you know that Margo is gonna be a badass and Quentin will  act like a love-sick puppy when around her. However, it doesn’t last that long because after an evening of revenge she goes missing – but not without evidence, she leaves clues for other people to find her and this is where Quentin steps in. He embarks on an adventure, with the help of his friends, to try and find Margo and hopefully, stop her from doing stupid things again.

The element I liked most was the banter between Quentin and his friends. I could just imagine three “weird” teenage boys hanging around high school, but still having the time of their lives. Personally, I don’t think Quentin should have even bothered trying to find Margo, she doesn’t bother with him for years and then all of sudden she wants to be friends again? talk about rude! I suppose she may have thought that no one else understood her, so turned to Quentin for some guidance – who knows!

The rest of the story? Hmm it was a little lacking in energy for me. I don’t know what it was and that’s probably not the most helpful in a review, but Paper Towns just did not excite me as much as I thought it would.

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Time’s a healer

Hi all.

You may have already seen my little note on Twitter and Instagram, but if not, I’d just like to let you all know that I’m really not well and so, I’m taking time off everything. 

I’m off work, on medication and being supported by a great bunch of people. I’m not sure when I’ll be return, but I most definitely will be back – promise! 

Any book reviews and blog tour commitments will be posted as agreed. ☺

See you soon. X

#bookreview: The Breakdown by B.A Paris

Behind Closed Doors cover Format: Paperback
Publisher: HQ Stories
Published: 9th February 2017
Pages: 336 Pages

The Blurb
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository

The Review

One stormy evening, Cassie decides to take the quicker way home, avoiding the other way due to the adverse weather conditions. During the journey, see passes a woman pulled over in her car, she seems out of place, but Cassie thinks nothing of it, until the next morning when her husband Matt tells her the lady was found murdered. Cue Cassie’s mind escalating many unwanted thoughts and feelings: what if she could have prevented the woman’s death? She chooses to keep this piece of information to herself, but in doing so means she becomes nervous and anxious.

The Breakdown essentially details Cassie’s deterioration – her ‘breakdown’ if you will. Her family and friends know nothing of her anxieties and so, blame her forgetfulness on Cassie being Cassie, where as Cassie believes it to be onset dementia – sadly just like her mother experienced. A series of events sees Cassie making unwanted decisions and forgetting about them – not intentional, but people close to her are getting agitated, which then sends Cassie into turmoil.

Having read Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris previously, I knew I needed to give The Breakdown a go! Both follow the psychological thriller genre with the story lines keeping you on your toes. Out of the two, I did prefer Behind Closed Doors, but The Breakdown was good in its own right.

It was hard to read about Cassie and how she was feeling. She had nothing to do with the woman’s death, but her over thinking mind played games on her and changed her life forever. We all have times like that when we take one small scenario and flip it into something that makes you anxious and sad. Cassie didn’t seem to have much support even with a loving husband and close friend. They seemed to dismiss Cassie’s forgetfulness as silly and didn’t listen to her when she was worried about the fact that she could be suffering the same as her mother.

However, piecing together the events of the last few months Cassie realises that she maybe isn’t going ‘mad’, but what has caused all her ‘forgetful’ moments?

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#bookreview: What Alice Knew by T.A. Cotterell

About the book…

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Black Swan
Publish Date: 4th May 2017
Pages: 384 Pages

The Blurb
How far would you go to keep a secret?

Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Pre-order/Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository

The Review

I bet you’re all wondering what does Alice know? I know I certainly did when I saw the cover and read the blurb. Well, put it this way, her head is full of secrets and probably secrets that she doesn’t really want to keep inside.

Alice has the perfect life, which includes the perfect husband: he’s well-educated, hard working and a pillar of the community, but one night he goes ‘missing’, and a certain phone call changes their lives forever.

What Alice Knew isn’t your typical thriller, you’re not made to figure out who the killer is, but more that you’re witnessing the destruction of the murder and the secrecy surrounding it. The police are involved and everyone is talking about it, which sends Alice into turmoil.

As you may have already guessed, Alice is the storyteller and she is the one that slowly falls to pieces with the news of the murder of a young girl. Ed, her husband, tries his best to comfort her, but she’s wondering how can he be so calm? She’s questioning her sanity and loyalty, what should she do? I felt incredibly sorry for Alice because she went from being a happy person who loved to paint into an emotional wreck. She had no support either, which made it 10 times worse.

The ending left me feeling a little confused. I’m not entirely sure what the outcome was – it’s hard to explain what I mean without spoiling the whole book for you. Let’s just say, Alice tells someone her secrets and gets everything off her chest, but I’m not sure what happened with them!

All in all, I loved What Alice Knew because it was different and intriguing – a definite must-read for 2017.

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