Title: Single, Forty and Fabulous! A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort

Author: Claudia Carroll

Pages: 38 Pages

Publisher: Avon Books/Harper Collins

The Blurb

The Feel Good One: Part of the Love…Maybe ebook short story collection.

It’s Valentine’s Day and, for single girl Kate, the only thing that could make that worse would be having to go to her own fortieth birthday party as well! Every year it’s the same: people asking if she has got herself a man yet. And every year she has to say no.

Once upon a time the idea of a fabulous, successful career seemed more important than ‘settling down’ but now she’s beginning to wish she hadn’t bid her teenage crush goodbye to take a job in London…if only, thinks Kate, she and her best mates could turn back time and be 21 again.

But Kate should be careful what she wishes for…

The Review

Well this was a cute little story. It plays on the whole ‘what if’ premise. What if we could have out time again? And it leaves the message that you should be grateful for what you have in life.

Single, Forty and Fabulous is a mixture of 13 Going on 30 meets Big. It is only with a reflection of the past that we can appreciate the future and vice versa.

Do I think the story could have been developed more? Yes, I think it would have made a good novella rather than a short story and I also think in the modern correct time period that more could have been made of the character James but overall it was a sweet little read.

Single, Forty and Fabulous by Claudia Carroll is available now.

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

For more information regarding Avon Books (@AvonBooksUK) please visit www.facebook.com/AvonBooksUK.

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

3 Stars

The Light We LostTitle: The Light We Lost

Author: Jill Santopolo

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Two people. One choice. What if?

11th September 2001. Lucy and Gabe meet at Columbia University on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. And as the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.

Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love.

And as Lucy is faced with a decision she thought she’d never have to make, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny, or chance. What if they should have been living a different life all along?

Me Before You meets One Day in this passionate debut novel, The Light We Lost, an epic love story about the heartrending decision that one woman must make…

The Review

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo was touted as the next One Day or Me Before You which over the past ten years have been two of my favourite books. Without meaning to start as a Debbie Downer, The Light We Lost didn’t quite hit that spot for me. I can understand why the comparisons were made but it just didn’t tug on my emotional heartstrings as much as the others.

It is not to say that it isn’t a good story. It really is. You do feel the frustration as you beg for Gabe and Lucy just to get their lives together and stop messing around but they just can’t seem to do it.

Then you get yourself all twisted up in the argument over passionate love versus sensible love. It is an argument that has plenty of positives and negatives for each side. Overall though you do feel that Lucy is her own worst enemy and that she never fully allows herself to move forward.

The Light We Lost is a really good read and one that you can finish in one sitting.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is available now

For more information regarding Jill Santopolo (@JillSantopolo) please visit www.jillsantopolo.com.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

35 Stars

Title: Sweet Pea

Author: CJ Skuse

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

I don’t know what this says about me but I really enjoyed Sweet Pea.

Sweet Pea by CJ Skuse is the story of Rhiannon, a girl on a crusade to right wrongs, to help the helpless and hurt the haters. So she is a bit of a serial killer….we all have flaws, right?

In all seriousness, Sweet Pea was a really entertaining read. What made it so entertaining was the sheer frivolity with which Rhiannon committed her crimes. She acted in a glib detached manner and she was really sold by SJ Ckuse as being a character so at ease with murder it was almost disturbing.

I don’t want to worry you but you will laugh at this story…at least I hope you will. Maybe it was just me that laughed. Oh dear.

Sweet Pea by CJ Skuse is available now.

For more information regarding CJ Skuse (@CJSkuse) please visit www.cjskusebooks.wixsite.com/cjskuse.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

4 Stars

Kicking the Bucket listTitle: The Kicking the Bucket List

Author: Cathy Hopkins

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Three sisters. Their mother’s dying wish. One last chance to be a family…The stunning debut for fans of Celia Imrie and Dawn French.

Meet the daughters of Iris Parker. Dee; sensitive and big-hearted; Rose uptight and controlled and Fleur the reckless free spirit.At the reading of their mother’s will, the three estranged women are aghast to discover that their inheritance comes with very tricky strings attached. If they are to inherit her wealth, they must spend a series of weekends together over the course of a year and carry out their mother’s ‘bucket list’. But one year doesn’t seem like nearly enough time for them to move past the decades-old layers of squabbles and misunderstandings. Can they grow up for once and see that Iris’s bucket list was about so much more than money…

The Review

What an emotional rollercoaster of a story. When I first picked up Cathy Hopkin’s book The Kicking the Bucket List I was reminded of another story that I had read earlier in the year. However, what was brilliant is that even with similar concepts two different writers can both make such interesting and diverse stories.

Hopkins tells the story of three estranged sisters who are brought back together by their recently deceased mother. The three girls are strikingly different but it is the love of their mother that makes them partake in the kicking the bucket list of challenges.

Each new challenge brings a new dilemma, more and more of the characters foibles are revealed and we steadily fall for this family who have fallen apart.

The Kicking the Bucket List by Cathy Hopkins is a gorgeous, warm, and uplifting read. This needs to be your latest commute read….be warned, you may not be able to put it down.

The Kicking the Bucket List by Cathy Hopkins is available now.

For more information regarding Cathy Hopkins (@CathyHopkins1) please visit www.cathyhopkins.com.

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

35 Stars

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineTitle: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

Pages: 327 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

A stunning debut. Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

The Review

Curious and charming. These are the words that I would us to describe the delightful debut by Gail Honeyman.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of (surprisingly) Eleanor Oliphant. A 30-something girl who lives live in a very structured way. She gets up, goes to work, has her lunch, does the crossword, goes home, and sleeps. She repeats this rigmarole with almost robotic precision. But there is something behind the routine and something about Eleanor.

Throughout the novel we see Eleanor open herself up to new possibilities, new friendships and new experiences and whilst all this is happening she is dealing with the ghosts of the past that are haunting her.

To use the word journey seems so corny and trivial but that is exactly what Eleanor Oliphant is on in this book. We, the readers, go along for the ride; we discover just exactly what it was that made Eleanor the way she is alongside her. It isn’t a unique concept in books but it is one that is executed magnificently.

Eleanor Oliphant is a book that even the hardest of hearts would find hard not to enjoy.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is available now.

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

4 Stars