Monday 29 June 2020

2020 Reading Challenge | The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams

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The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams - 4/5 
Blurb: She's single. But it can still be complicated...

Penny Bridge has always been unlucky in love.

So she can't believe it when she meets a remarkable new man.

Followed by another.

And then another...

And all of them want to date her.

Penny has to choose between three. But are any of them The One?

Review: 30-year-old London-based chef and café owner Penny Bridge is unlucky in love. Then she meets Francesco, a pastry chef and they have a whirlwind romance. Three weeks in, Penny's uncle falls ill and she must move from London to Derbyshire to take charge of his pub/restaurant. As the relationship is still new, she feels like she can't ask Francesco to go with her and instead, breaks the whole thing off.

Seven months later, Penny has settled in well and finally makes moves to get back in contact with Francesco on a friend-only texting basis. She also meets two men at two different times; Thomas, an old school friend and Priyesh, the pub's wine merchant. But then we have a bit of overlap, hence the book title.

I didn't love the characters of Penny or Thomas but I have a soft spot for both Francesco and Priyesh. The book touches on some real-life issues such as cancer and infertility and it is a very diverse book. There are supporting characters from the LGBTQIA community and even a non-binary character, Charlie. I would have loved to have had more of a backstory on Charlie, just to hear more about their life. It feels a little like they were introduced just to have a non-binary character with not much substance.

The ending was absolutely perfect for the book and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Saturday 27 June 2020

2020 Reading Challenge | The Bad Mother's Virus by Suzy K Quinn

[AD/Gifted: I received a eBook copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. If you click through to buy anything through this post, I will earn a few pennies at no extra cost to you.]

I've set my Goodreads challenge at 60 books this year. The Bad Mother's Virus is book number twenty-one.

The Bad Mother's Virus by Suzy K Quinn - 4/5 
Blurb: Laughter is good for the immune system.
Single mother, Juliette Duffy, is getting married. Again. And this time, she is determined to make it all the way down the aisle. But you never know what's round the corner, do you?

Follow Juliette through the trials and tribulations of home schooling, shopping in post-apocalyptic supermarkets, trying to stop her 3-year-old from licking car door handles and finally scoring a 9-pack of toilet roll.

And then someone goes into hospital...

Review: I was very excited to read this as it's a book about being in lockdown that was written in lockdown. 100% of the sales of this book are being donated to the coronavirus vaccine and healthcare funds.

It's the fifth in the Bad Mother series but only the first I've read. Juliette has a daughter, Daisy, with her ex-partner Nick. She is now engaged to be married to Alex who lives in Dalton Estate which is basically a huge mansion. Juliette is on the cusp of moving in with Alex to start their family life when the Covid-19 pandemic strikes whilst Alex is working in Italy. Throw into the mix that Nick wants custody of Daisy and a whole multitude of things going wrong.

This is a really funny book and it felt weird reading about things that have happened so recently. It's written in diary entry format which made it easy to fly through. It feels like it could be a non-fiction book, with references to Boris Johnson testing positive, the supermarkets with their empty toilet roll shelves and everyone's initial thoughts on how it's "just a bad flu, nothing to really worry about."

I love the character of Juliette and she's one of those characters that you just want to be friends with. Her thoughts on homeschooling and which foods are classed as non-essential really resonated with me as a mother of two who has been homeschooling too.

It's a fantastic read which had me laughing out loud and I will definitely read the rest of the series.

Saturday 20 June 2020

2020 Reading Challenge | Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland

[AD/Gifted: I received this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

I was very kindly sent a copy of Rose McClelland's novel 'Under Your Skin' for review. I was excited about reading this one because she is a local author and the book is set in Belfast, my hometown. It is Rose McClelland's first psychological thriller, her past three novels being romantic fiction.

It is my twentieth book of 2020. Please feel free to connect with me on Goodreads where I am logging my Reading Challenge progress.

Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland - 4/5 
Blurb: When Kyle's wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.

Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.

Local Belfast resident Julia Matthews joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the police ever could.

Julia was only trying to help but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can't escape.

Review: This is a great first foray into the crime genre. It reads very much like an ITV thriller - which I love!

Hannah is married to Kyle and suddenly disappears. He reports her as missing to the police and a search is started. It is based in Belfast and I thought it was a bit strange at first, all these places that I am familiar with being mentioned.

A local campaign is started and members of the public go out on the hunt for any signs of Hannah but it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems. It is one of those books where you just suspect everyone and don't know who to trust.

We hear about Hannah's relationship with Kyle from the beginning and I liked that you even get some personal backstories on Detective Kerry and her work partner, Simon. It contains a few tough subjects such as domestic violence and baby loss so that's maybe something to be aware of.

The chapters switch between the points of view of Hannah, Kerry (the investigating officer), Kate (a local lady) and Julia (a woman who helps with the search) and they are very short so I was able to fly through the book quickly.

Everything is tied up well and it pretty much has everything you could ask for in a crime novel. I will definitely read more of Rose McClelland's work.

You can get your hands on a copy here and you can keep up to date with Rose on her Instagram.