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.

Title: A Gift from the Comfort Food Café

Author: Debbie Johnson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Blurb

Christmas has never been Katie Seddon’s favourite time of year. Whilst everyone else shares memories of families coming together and festive number ones, the soundtrack to Katie’s childhood wasn’t quite so merry.

But since she moved to the village of Budbury on the gorgeous Dorset coast, Katie and her baby son have found a new family. A family who have been brought together by life’s unexpected roads and the healing magic of a slice of cake and a cupful of kindess at the Comfort Food Café.

This year, Katie’s new friends are determined to give her a Christmas to remember, and with a gorgeous newcomer in town, Katie’s Christmas wish for a happy home for her son might just come true.

The Review

I love the frequent visits to Budbury. This time it is through the eyes of Katie. Katie has been somewhat of a mystery in the Comfort Food Café series. A bit reclusive, keeping herself and her young son out of arms length but now we get to see why.

As we watch Katie unfold and start to appreciate the closeness of the regulars of the café we get to understand exactly what made her this way to begin with. You constantly shout at her to keep those arms open and accept everyone’s metaphorical hugs because you get the sense that one bad move and Katie will be out of Budbury asap.

I genuinely love the Comfort Food Café series. I eagerly anticipate each new release and I am not ashamed to admit that I pre-order them and count down the days until each new story will be with me. If that is not a big enough reason to buy and read and love each of these books then I really don’t know what is.

A Gift from the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson is available now.

For more information regarding Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) please visit www.debbiejohnsonauthor.com.

For more information regarding Harper Impulse (@HarperImpulse) please visit www.harperimpulse.com.

Title: A Pretty Mess (An Astonvale Novel)

Author: Carla Caruso

Pages: 260 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Sometimes, to come clean, you’ve got to get your hands dirty … The first in the Astonvale series.

Celeste Pretty, a self-confessed neat freak, has found the job she was born to do: a professional organiser, de-cluttering people’s homes and workplaces. Her new business gets off to a cracking start when she lands her first client, health and fitness guru Natalia Samphire, in the well-heeled suburb of Astonvale. But things get messy at Natalia’s mansion when Celeste finds a blackmail note and other mysterious items.

And then there’s Lenny Muscat, the sexy builder renovating the place, whose constant presence is muddling Celeste’s usually organised brain. When things get decidedly suspicious at the mansion, she and Lenny have to team up to investigate. But will Celeste emerge with her heart and professional reputation unscathed?

The Review

After reading a few heavy books recently it was really nice to pick up Carla Caruso’s A Pretty Mess. It is a fun story probably best described as romantic comedy mystery that revolves around the life of Celeste Pretty.

Celeste has recently set up her own organisation business and has landed a massive celebrity client but as she organises her new clients life she discovers that not everything is as it seems. With the help of hunky builder, Lenny, Celeste tries to solve the mystery surrounding celebrity fitness coach Natalie Samphire.

There were times when A Pretty Mess bordered on silly, with coincidental meet cutes and a clumsy Bridget Jones-esque protagonist but it cannot be accused of having no heart. This story is chock full of sentiment and whilst it probably won’t change your life it might just put a smile on your face.

A Pretty Mess (An Astonvale Novel) by Carla Caruso is available now.

For more information regarding Carla Caruso please visit www.carlacaruso.com.au.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.harpercollins.com.