We Were On A BreakTitle: We Were on a Break

Author: Lindsey Kelk

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

‘You’ve just had a holiday,’ I pointed out, trying not to yawn. ‘Wasn’t that enough of a break?’
‘I don’t mean that kind of break.’

There’s nothing worse than the last day of holiday. Oh wait, there is. When what should have been a proposal turns into a break, Liv and Adam find themselves on opposite sides of the life they had mapped out.

Friends and family all think they’re crazy; Liv throws herself into work – animals are so much simpler than humans – and Adam tries to get himself out of the hole he’s dug. But as the short break becomes a chasm, can they find a way back to each other?

More importantly, do they want to?

The Review

I love books by Lindsey Kelk. I am halfway through the I Heart series and she really is one of the authors that I cannot get enough of.

In her latest release We Were on a Break we see the trials and tribulations of a couple who are trying to take the next step but just cnanot seem to get there. Liv and Adam have been together for ages. Liv has been told that Adam is going to propose to her when they are on holiday but it is nearing the end of their luxury trip and Adam still hasn’t popped the question. Liv becomes unbearable and Adam starts questioning whether it is the best idea.

Like most good romantic comedies it is the miscommunication and the interference of third parties that makes We Were on a Break so relatable. Who hasn’t been in a relationship with a he said/she said crowd getting involved.

What is comforting about books by Lindsey Kelk is that you always leave them feeling that the right thing happened. There is a feeling of content that comes with her books and We Were on a Break does not deviate from this.

We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk is available now.

For more information regarding Lindsey Kelk (@LindseyKelk) please visit www.lindseykelk.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

35 Stars

We Could Be BeautifulTitle: We Could Be Beautiful

Author: Swan Huntley

Pages: 354 Pages

Publisher: Doubleday Books

The Blurb

A spellbinding psychological debut novel, Swan Huntley’s We Could Be Beautiful is the story of a wealthy woman who has everything—and yet can trust no one. 

Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. She sees her personal trainer, she gets weekly massages, and occasionally she visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she’ll never have a family of her own. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine’s parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone . . . ” Is William lying about his past? And if so, is Catherine willing to sacrifice their beautiful life in order to find the truth? Featuring a fascinating heroine who longs for answers but is blinded by her own privilege, We Could Be Beautiful is a glittering, seductive, utterly surprising story of love, money, greed, and family.

The Review

Oh boy. This is another hit and miss for me.

Swan Huntley’s psychological thriller We Could Be Beautiful is set amongst the rich and elite of New York society. Catherine West, an art lover and exclusive card shop owner is swept away by a mysterious man, William. She and William sort of knew each other’s families when they were younger but the passage of time and loss of parents made them lose contact.

When William appears back in her life he does so like a tornado, within weeks they are in love and set to be married yet there is something distinctly off about William. Catherine has to figure out what it is before losing herself and her inherited fortune.

Meh. On the surface this story seems fine. It seems like it could have great potential but the characters were just so unlikable; in particular, Catherine. Now, for me personally, when you read a story about the elite society you have dreams and aspirations of having all that money and the comfortable life but Huntley subverted that by showing that rich people have problems too which I suppose is an interesting twist but the execution just left me asking ‘who cares?’

I’m sure that We Could Be Beautiful is a good book for some people but for it just didn’t hit the right notes.

We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley is available now.

For more information regarding Swan Huntley (@SwanHuntley) please visit www.swanhuntley.com.

For more information regarding Doubleday Books (@doubledaybooks) please visit www.doubledaybooks.com.

2 Stars

A song for tomorrowTitle: A Song for Tomorrow

Author: Alice Peterson

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

The Review

Sometimes books are unfair. They make you fall in love with characters, with their fictional family and with their made up story before breaking your heart in the cruellest way possible. Sometimes books are even more unfair by having the story based on real life situations and they are even more impossibly cruel.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is one such book. It is a story of a young girl called Alice who has always had to watch what she is doing, making sure she isn’t putting herself in harms way, making sure she isn’t taking risks with her health. But Alice realises that this is no way to live life. She may have a chronic life shortening illness but she wants to live it not just go through the motions.

Alice decides to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. She falls in love. She allows herself to be painted. She lives. She experiences life. It is heartwarming. However, with happiness comes great sadness and that is part and parcel of Alice’s journey. You need to read A Song for Tomorrow to find out more.

I loved A Song for Tomorrow. I laughed and I cried and after I read it I bought 6 more copies and gifted them to friends so that they could feel how I was feeling – #greatfriend. With this book Peterson has the innate ability to hold your attention and forget to breath; there were times when I literally felt like I was drowning because I couldn’t breathe. It is a truly wonderful story that is tinged with unbearable sadness.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Peterson (@AlicePeterson1) please visit www.alicepeterson.co.uk.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonschuster.co.uk.

5 Stars

High on RebellionTitle: High On Rebellion – Inside the Underground at Max’s Kansas City

Pages: 287 Pages

Publisher: Open Road Media

The Blurb

With a foreword by Lou Reed: The definitive oral history of Max’s Kansas City, favorite hangout of the most outrageous and notorious characters of New York’s 1960s and ’70s underground cultural scene

From its opening in December 1965 on Park Avenue South, Max’s Kansas City, a hybrid restaurant, bar, nightclub, and art gallery, was the boisterous meeting spot for famous—or soon-to-be-famous—figures in New York’s underground art, music, literary, film, and fashion scenes. Max’s regulars included Andy Warhol (and his superstars such as Viva, Ultra Violet, Edie Sedgwick, Gerard Malanga, Holly Woodlawn, and Candy Darling), Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Jane Fonda, and dozens more. A hotbed of drugs, sex, and creative collaboration, Max’s was the place to see and be seen among the city’s cultural elite for nearly two decades.

With reminiscences from the likes of Alice Cooper, Bebe Buell, Betsey Johnson, Leee Black Childers, Holly Woodlawn, and John Chamberlain, along with Max’s owner Mickey Ruskin and several waitresses and bartenders, this vivid oral history evokes an unforgettable place where a spontaneous striptease, a brawl over the meaning of art, and an early performance by the Velvet Underground were all possibilities on any given night. High on Rebellion dazzles with rare photos and other Max’s memorabilia, and firsthand accounts of legendary nights, chance encounters, romances sparked and extinguished, and stars being born.

The Review

Music scenes are usually synonymous with places – in particular, clubs. Mersey Beat with the Cavern in Liverpool, Indie pop with Leeds during the noughties and Punk with New York – in particular clubs like CBGBs. One club that I didn’t know a lot about was Max’s Kansas City. I had heard about it, sure, any self respecting fan of music will have come across it in the annals of history but I didn’t know its diverse and fascinating history.

When I came across High on Rebellion on NetGalley I knew I had to jump at the chance to read it. Wow. Part biography of owner Mickey Ruskin and part biography of the club, High on Rebellion makes me so sad that I wasn’t part of that music scene. That I was born 30 years after it took place. If the walls of Max’s Kansas City could talk then they probably would have written this book. The book gives you insights from the people who frequented the club, people who grew up, who loved and who lived there. It has a level of truth because it isn’t written from a third party perspective.

High on Rebellion is a fascinating read and is a staple text for anyone with a love of music and the scenes in which they encapsulate.

High On Rebellion by Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin is available now.

For more information regarding Open Road Media (@OpenRoadMedia) please visit www.openroadmedia.com.

35 Stars

He Said She SaidTitle: He Said/She Said

Author: Erin Kelly

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton/St Martin’s Press/Minotaur Press

The Blurb

Who do you believe? 

He said it was consensual.
The woman said nothing. 
But Laura saw it… 
… didn’t she?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura and Kit interrupt something awful.

Laura is sure about what happened. Later, in a panic, she tells a little white lie – and four lives are changed irreparably.

When the victim turns up on their doorstep, her gratitude spills into dangerous obsession. Laura and Kit decide to run – but Beth knows they have pledged to see every eclipse together. They will never be able to entirely escape her.

As the next eclipse draws near, Laura must confront the fallout from what she saw in the darkness. Confessing will cost her marriage; keeping the secret might prove fatal.

But all secrets, sooner or later, will come to light.

The Review

Oh, there are just some topics in books that are hard to read about and I’m guessing even harder to write about. In this case, that topic is rape. In He Said/She Said author Erin Kelly writes about a case of rape whereby both parties argue different things. He says it was consensual, she says it wasn’t. It is said that in most crimes you are innocent until proven guilty. With rape cases it is the victim who is seen as a liar until proven otherwise. Kelly shines a light on this debate in He Said/She Said.

It wasn’t the fastest paced book which for a thriller I was expecting much snappier timing what I will say is that Kelly has plotted some excellent twists and turn that did leave me gasping out loud with shock.

The paranoia that her character Laura possesses was excellently executed. In fact Kelly’s characterisations across the novel were brilliant. He Said/She Said is just a dark portrayal of how lives can be ruined by lies….but also by the truth.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly is available now.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

For more information regarding St Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress) please visit us.macmillan.com/smp.aspx.

For more information regarding Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks)please visit www.minotaur.com.

4 Stars