The Birthday that Changed EverythingThe Blurb

‘A lovely, emotion-filled, giggle-inducing story’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Milly Johnson

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…

The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?

The Review

Some authors just do it for me. They write stories that I just fall completely in love with. Debbie Johnson is one of those authors.

In her latest novel The Birthday that Changed Everything we meet Sally. She’s about to turn forty. Her daughter, Lucy, makes it obvious that she has no respect for Sally – she eff’s and jeff’s with vim; her son, bless him tries to steady the rocky relationship but even his patience is wearing thing; and she has a husband who has up sticks and left her for lap dancer. Things aren’t looking good for Sally but in a fit of defiance against her crumbling life she books a family holiday that changes her life.

What I loved about The Birthday that Changed Everything is that Johnson breaks down a lot of societal walls. She has a woman who knows that her life isn’t perfect. She knows her relationship is obviously not perfect and she does not have the perfect family (i.e. muck mouth of a daughter). Yes, what Debbie Johnson has so accurately captured in her novel is that people aren’t always perfect and can’t be pigeon-holed. Sally makes you feel ok about yourself. She makes you see that life is messy and you are not always going to be the prettiest, youngest or slimmest person but…and this is the important bit…you can still nab the hunkiest man around. Yes, I used the word “hunkiest” and I am not ashamed of it.

In all seriousness, Debbie Johnson’s The Birthday that Changed Everything is a story with a big heart. It will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. I laughed, covered my face in agony and shame, screamed in frustration and felt the truly full happy feeling that you get when you turn the final page of a great story. Sally was the perfect protagonist; Bridget Jones, eat your heart out. There is a new hot mess in town!

The Birthday that Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson is available from 28th January 2016.

Follow Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) on Twitter.

5 Stars

Title: London Nights

Author: Lucy Lord

Pages: 34 Pages

The Blurb

A short story from the hilarious author of A Girl Called Summer – find out what Bella was up to before her Ibiza adventures!

Bella and Andy need to finish packing up their London life before their blow-out ‘Goodbye London’ party tonight. But with a screaming baby, missing moving men and some kitchen calamities, will they ever be ready on time??

A cracking short story that takes place just before the events of A Girl Called Summer.

The Review

In the third instalment of the A Girl Called Summer short story prequels we meet Bella and Andy; a young couple with a small child who are currently making the life changing move to Ibiza. However, the closer that they are getting to moving day the more stress seems to be piled upon them. Delivery people aren’t arriving to collect their final belongings, the air mattress that they are sleeping on is deflating and besides all this they have to organise, execute and attend their farewell do. It is all going on.

This is the third set of characters that we have met in this series and it is after reading London Nights that I feel I may have been a bit harsh on my review of the second in the series New York Nights. I felt in the last one that nothing seemed to happen. However, both of these books – whilst less octane than LA Nights – have provided a lot of exposition for A Girl Called Summer. So whilst the tales seem to be quite small they are in fact setting up the stories to come.

Let’s see what the next in the series – Ibiza Nights – delivers.

London Nights by Lucy Lord is available now.

Follow Lucy Lord (@LucyLord1) on Twitter.

London Nights