At the age of 36 Michelle, chicken packer extraordinaire, did not expect to be living in such a rut. Living in the shadow of her dead sister and pretty much abhorred by her teenage daughter Michelle knows she has to make a change. When she strikes a deal with her rebellious daughter to marry George Clooney her initial reasons were selfish – to stop her daughter Josie from sleeping with sweaty not-good-enough-for-her boyfriend Sean and well to possibly get to marry George Clooney. However, life has a funny way of twisting fate and making you see the bigger picture.


Ok, let me just start by saying two things. Firstly, I loved this story. It was funny, the characters were endearing and it was quite frankly unlike anything I have ever read before. Secondly, the storyline is absurd – people tend to take that word the wrong way. I assure I mean it in only the positive sense. It is such a bonkers, over the top, out of this world idea that it really did only have two ways of going. It would either work completely or it would fall apart hopelessly. Fortunately, for the readers of I Will Marry George Clooney (…By Christmas) and indeed for Tracy Bloom this book definitely falls into the former category.

What I think makes this book so special is that it focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter rather than the love story being the central theme; the uneasy relationship between Michelle and Josie strangely paradoxes the relationship between Michelle and her own mother, Kathleen. Michelle seems t get it from both sides. She cannot fill the shoes of her sister Jane who tragically died and she cannot be the mother that Josie wants her to be. Josie reacts and acts out due to the frustrations of not knowing who she really is and at her mother’s own willing to fade into the background rather than make anything of herself and, like any petulant teenager, makes Michelle feel all the more a bad mother for it by being snarky, disrespectful and disobedient. Kathleen doesn’t make things any easier on Michelle by always putting her down.

Yes, you can’t help but feel sorry for Michelle throughout this book, her confidence is at an all time low and she relies on her friends to remind her how wonderful she is. And truly, Bloom has created a rather marvellous character in Michelle. Bloom also succeeds in reminding her readers that life is short and you should become the hero in your own life story.

I Will Marry George Clooney (…By Christmas) by Tracy Bloom is available now.

You can follow Tracy Bloom on Twitter @TracyBBloom

Tracy Bloom



Sisters Tamsin and Sam couldn’t be more different. Tamsin is a social climber who likes having nice things, money and a circle of friends with the same perspective. Some would say she is a snob but she is definitely one with a heart. Sister Sam is the polar opposite – a free spirit who would rather be shunned by the social hierarchy than become part of the inner circle of bitchiness.

When Tamsin’s world comes crashing down around her it is Sam who picks her sister up off the floor just like Tamsin did for Sam five years earlier when Sam’s husband was killed. An event thay still plagues her and controls her decisions to this very day. Can these sisters pull together and get themselves back on track?


Ok, the basics. I loved the two part narrative. The characters of Tamsin and Sam where clearly defined and Watson managed to create individual voices for them both. It is always interesting to read the same story from other peoples perspectives. Personally, I sometimes find that writers will either fail to create unique characters and they will oftentimes overlap or when they do manage to create the individual voice that they then create a Groundhog Day style of storytelling which becomes repetitive and boring. However, Watson escapes both of these writing potholes and has created a wonderful story that, if anything, is helped by the dual narrative; the pacing of the story is excellent and as a reader you don’t feel like the story becomes stuck or slow-moving.

I loved the way the sisters lives seemed to parallel each others. They both had loved and lost (due to equally distressing by very different reasons) and had to rebuild their lives. They both do this with the help of each other. I think the reason that I found the relationship between Sam and Tamsin so compelling is probably because it is a similar relationship that I have with my sister. I loved that they were best friends. They got on each other’s nerves at times but the underlying love was so evident. They only wanted what was best for each other.

I thought it was especially clever how Watson had her characters overcome their underlying prejudices – Sam and the mothers at school and Tamsin with a world that was less than what she was used to.

The overall theme of family was nicely juxtaposed with the theme of Christmas as both of these things tend to go hand in hand.

Having never read any Watson before (but have accidentally got one of her earlier releases sitting on my Kindle) I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I think the reason that I enjoyed it so much was that the main focus of the story wasn’t a romantic relationship. It was there but the relationship between the sisters was the main focus and I found that very refreshing.

Well done Sue Watson, you have put me in the Christmas mood.

Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson is available now.

You can follow Sue Watson on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

Snow Angels



When Carrie Blake is employed by Adam Fletcher to be a nanny to his two children, twins Olivia and David, little does she realise what a mess the family is in. Adam doesn’t appear to have a relationship with his children; he is a part-time father but main provider for the twins. This breaks Carrie’s heart and, for better or for worse, she makes it her mission to unite the family before her time with the family is up.


A Christmas to Remember is the first book to be read as part of my seasonal feature – Lisa’s 12 Books of Christmas – and if the next eleven are half as good as this book then I am in for a festive treat sweeter than a candy cane pooped by Rudolph….which, on reflection, is not the prettiest of images. However, I feel it adequately expresses how I felt about this book. It was lovely.

You see, I often have a problem with romance books. Don’t get me wrong I love a bit of good old fashioned romance and will often swoon along with my leading ladies but I do worry that chick-lit set at Christmas time can be a sugary overload – too saccharine. Jenny Hale balanced this perfectly.

The story had a slight Dickensian quality to it, with references to A Christmas Carol peppered lightly (and sometimes not so discreetly) but it was a lovely, modernised retelling.

What was especially lovely is that you saw the love story unfold slowly, timidly. Both of the main characters, Carrie and Adam, had both been either burnt before or just lacked self belief but as they got to know each other their relationship became almost tangible as it flew off the page.

The further complications of having a small family, the part time position, beautiful-leggy-red-haired-assistants provided perfect obstacles for the characters love story. What was also rather lovely is that you did not just fall for the main characters and the development of their romance but you fell for Adam’s family too who were just holiday card perfect…even with their imperfections as a family unit.

Having never read anything by Jenny Hale before I now feel that I have found an author on whom I can count for a lovely, realistic piece of escapist fiction.

Brava Jenny Hale!

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale is available from October 10th, 2014.

You can follow Jenny Hale on Twitter @jhaleauthor

A Christmas To Remember

Man, last week was not my best. I didn’t get through half the books that I wanted to read. I blame the fact that I have to work. Yep, the world would be a greater place if I had lots of money and free time. Ahhh, a girl can dream.

Anywho, the books that I did manage to get through included:

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani

1,411 QI Facts to Knock You Sideways by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin

The Snow Globe by Kristen Harmel

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

Actually, to be fair four books is quite good.

I’m currently reading three books, they are

Us by David Nicholls (I’m taking my time with this one, I want to treasure very last page)

The First Year: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis by Jill Sklar (I figure I should probably learn a bit more about my lifelong chronic illness)

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale (The first book in my new seasonal feature)

Other books I have to try and read this week include:

Alice + Freda Forever by Alexis Coe (NetGalley Review) (208 pages)

Fat Chance by Nick Spalding (Net Galley Review) (289 pages)

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander (NetGalley Review) (352 pages)

Seven Letters from Paris by Samantha Verant (NetGalley Review) (288 pages)

Rocks by Joe Perry (NetGalley Review) (432 pages)

Reunion by Hannah Pittard (NetGalley Review) (288 pages)

Althea and Oliver by Christina Moracho (NetGalley Review) (384 pages)

A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore (NetGalley Review) (358 pages)

Now this may seem like a lot of books but I only have one for review next week so I will pick up the pace then.

Also, this week it is a lovely book bloggers birthday, everyone should show Clare over at A Book and Tea some birthday love.

Have an awesome reading week.

L x

Ps I hang my head in shame, my NetGalley review percentage went down. Woe to the people.


In this modern day retelling of the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus we meet best friends Ella and Claire who spend their youth trying to grow up quicker. Things take an interesting turn when Ella falls for vagabond Orpheus. Their union signifies the end of Claire and Ella’s youth and also brings their impending lives fully into view.


I was so keen to read this book. Having read Almond’s work before I am familiar and I awe how he can take the normal and make it appear mystical and atmospheric. Add to this the fact that the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice is my favourite myth you can see why I was so eager to devour this story.

Sadly, it didn’t blow me away. In fact, having finished the book I’m kind of at a loss to describe how I feel. Heck, all the elements were there; the atmospheric nature of his writing, the story that needed to be told, the amazing way in which Almond can captivate you – it all just didn’t quite connect for me.

I’m a little bit disappointed.

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

The Song for Ella Grey by David Almond is available now.

ella greyy