Title: Love Me or Leave Me

Author: Claudia Carroll

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

True love lasts a lifetime.

But sometimes, life just gets in the way . . .

It’s the opening weekend of the first ever boutique ‘divorce hotel’ and three couples arrive to ditch their emotional baggage, once and for all, and move on.

It’s make or break time for Lucy and Andrew, Jo and Dave and Dawn and Kirk. But the hotel’s manager, Chloe Townsend, is one very special lady. As she settles her guests in, it becomes clear that this weekend is going to bring some big surprises.

Because some things are worth fighting for – and what seems like an unhappy ending can be a very exciting new beginning …

And when the weekend draws to a close, no-one is going to be more surprised than Chloe herself.

If you love MARIAN KEYES and SOPHIE KINSELLA you will love this!

The Review

Of late I have gone off reading romance stories. I don’t know what it is because the romance book used to be my book of choice. I loved getting lost in the romantic whirl of new characters. I couldn’t actually tell you the last romance book I read but since I am trying to beat the backlog of books on my NetGalley list (the number is too shameful to share) I decided to start near the beginning of the book list and yes this book was out in 2014. I hang my head in shame. It was a lovely surprise when I wasn’t put off by the romantic story. In fact, I actually bloody loved this story.

Told in the multi-perspective, Love Me or Leave Me focuses on the horrible nature of divorce. Set in Dublin, Chloe – a recent heartbreakee gets her dream job of managing a hotel. This is a hotel with a difference though. It is where separated couples come to finalise their break up. Do all the messy paperwork but in a relaxed way in a hotel full of luxuries. We meet several couples who are here to break up each with their own unique reasons for wanting to split. But their time at the hotel leaves them wondering if they really should give up on their relationships.

It was such a light read and it was just what I needed after a few heavy stories. Something that was a lovely distraction.

Charming and delightful, definitely a beach read.

Love Me or Leave Me by Claudia Carroll is available now.

For more information regarding Claudia Carroll (@carrollclaudia) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Our Story

Author: Miranda Dickinson

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Otty has just landed her dream job. She’s about to join the writing team of one of the most respected showrunners in TV. And then the night before her first day, she’s evicted from her flat.

Joe has been working with Russell for years. He’s the best writer on his team, but lately something has been off. He’s trying to get his mojo back, but when his flatmate moves out without warning he has other things to worry about.

Otty moving into Joe’s house seems like the perfect solution to both their problems, but neither is prepared for what happens next. Paired together in the writing room, their obvious chemistry sparks from the page and they are the writing duo to beat. But their relationship off the page is an entirely different story, and neither of them can figure out why.

And suddenly the question isn’t, will they, or won’t they? It’s why won’t they?

An epic and modern love story for our times, we will all see ourselves reflected in Otty and Joe. We are our own biggest barriers and this novel explores what happens when we get out of our own way. And it is glorious.

The Review

Miranda Dickinson is like a warm blanket. All of her books have given me that comforted feeling, like bing wrapped up in a warm hug. She is an author that you can trust to make you feel good and give you the warm and fuzzies. Never more so than with her latest novel Our Story which – I have to say – I think is my favourite book of hers so far.

It is the story of Otty and Joe. Through kismet they became housemates, through living and working together they became friends and through excellent story telling I was yelling at them to become more than that – a classic kiss him/her you fool story played out as I read each page.

It is funny because you know they kind of stories that Miranda Dickinson writes and you know that with this genre that as a reader you have certain expectations which inevitably are met but when a writer can have you guessing to the very last minute if it will happen or not then you know they writer is worth her salt. 

I loved Our Story. It had the perfect amount of give and take, the dual narrative was perfect for the type of story and Dickinson really did make me want to read more but also slow my pace because I didn’t want the story to end. Absolutely fantastic.

Our Story by Miranda Dickinson is available 3rd September 2020.

For more information regarding Miranda Dickinson (@wurdsmyth) please visit www.miranda-dickinson.com.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQStories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: Mix Tape

Author: Jane Sanderson

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Random House

The Blurb

You never forget the one that got away. But what if ‘what could have been’ is still to come?

Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape.

But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; she’d been the one to run away, after all.

Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past.

For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her too-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind.

And so begins a new mix tape.

Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything…

Because what if ‘what could have been’ is still to come?

The Review

Okay, so I am conflicted by Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson. Firstly, I do love a good love story especially when the story involves first love that has broken down for whatever reason and then rekindled as adults. I love that those people who once knew one another then have to rediscover each other as adults. I love that.

However, when that comes at the cost of other established relationships I find it hard to feel empathy with the characters. Yes, people are flawed and yes this can happen in real life. I think for me, probably because where I am in my life I know I would feel devastated if my partner rekindled a romance with his first love.

It is a well written book and Jane Sanderson should be proud of what she has produced. Personally, I think I need to know what happened with tertiary characters to be able to fully commit to the romance of Dan and Ali.

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson is available now.

For more information regarding Jane Sanderson (@SandersonJane) please visit www.jane-sanderson.com.

For more information regarding Random House (@randomhouse) please visit www.randomhousebooks.com.

Title: The Day We Met

Author: Roxie Cooper

Pages: 464 Pages

Publisher: Ebury Publishing

The Blurb

Stephanie doesn’t believe in fate, true love or living happily ever after. She’s content enough being engaged to Matt. But then she meets Jamie, who understands her more than anyone else ever has.

Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Helen and believes in everything Stephanie doesn’t. So why does he have such a strong connection with Stephanie?

When Stephanie and Jamie meet one fateful weekend in 2006 it will change everything…

Ten years. Two people. One epic love story.

The Review

The Day We Met is a modern day love story in the same ilk as One Day. It tells the love story of Stephanie and Matt – an almost couple. They are two people drawn together but know they cannot be together. Why can’t they be together? Well, they both have partners. Instead, they choose to meet at the same venue every year and get to know each other better.

Ok. This is a difficult one because I really liked The Day We Met. The writing was easy to read; I liked the characterisation; I liked that the multi-perspective narrative really did feel like two separate characters. I also liked the fact that the book came with a playlist to match the moods of the chapters. That is always a big win for me. However, I dislike that I liked the book because of the whole element of extra-marital relations. Roxie Cooper is really clever in that she managed to get me to fall in love with the characters and the story whilst it goes against something I find morally reprehensible.

I really think you should read this book if you enjoy romantic stories. It is a wonderfully written book and one that will leave you questioning your own beliefs while rooting for the protagonists.

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper is available now.

For more information regarding Roxie Cooper (@toodletinkbaby) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Ebury (@EburyPublishing) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories

Author: Paige Toon

Pages: 390 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

One year after movie star Joseph Strike swept schoolteacher Alice off her feet, they are spending Christmas together in snowy Cambridge. But despite the romantic setting Alice can’t help but question whether life in the spotlight is really what she wants. Will a Christmas provide some perspective? Or will the life she’d be leaving behind be too much to lose?

In this irresistible collection, bestselling author Paige Toon reunites a much-loved cast from across her fifteen novels, including Johnny Be GoodThe One We Fell In Love With and Thirteen Weddings. Fall in love with nine witty and heartfelt romantic stories, published in print for the very first time.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The first time I came across Paige Toon’s work was in Dublin Airport. Some friends and I had been to the OXEGEN Festival at Punchtown Racecourse and we were all shattered waiting for our flight back home to Liverpool. One of my friends tootled off to WHSmith to pass the time and came back with Johnny Be Good – a perfect title of book for three book loving girls (and Back to the Future was said friends favourite movie – see, the stars were aligned on this one). We all took turns reading the book and we all loved it. This was the start of my book love towards Paige Toon.

In her latest collection – One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories – we get to go back and visit much loved characters. We get to either see scenes from different perspectives or extension stories which let us know how they are getting on now. Some people don’t like this style of book but I personally love getting back in touch with old characters.

If you are a Paige Toon fan you will appreciate this book. If you have not read anything by Paige Toon before and you want a taste of her writing style this could be the book for you too. I loved it and I have to thank Sara-Jane from Books and the City for sending me a copy.

One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories by Paige Toon is available now.

For more information regarding Paige Toon (@PaigeToonAuthor) please visit www.paigetoon.com.

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