Title: Lessons I’ve Learned

Author: Davina McCall

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Orion

The Blurb

With her trademark humour, warmth and honesty, Davina McCall shares her life experiences.

“I am a work in progress. There are times when I feel in control and like I know what I’m doing…and there are times (quite a few) (actually lots) when I’ve got no idea what’s going on, where to turn, what to do, how to behave, and those are the times I’ve sought help!

I have been helped by some extraordinary people. I’ve been supported and counselled through my recovery from drugs and alcohol. I’ve been hypnotised to get me through my ultimate fears. I’ve read a squibillion (that’s a lot) of fantastic self-help books and I have shared and shared with the greatest girlfriends, and family of all time. These nuggets of wisdom have, at times, literally kept me going, so I thought I’d pay it forward and she them with you…”

In this long-awaited book, Davina McCall shares the tips and wisdoms learned on her ‘work-in-progress’ journey through life.

Warm, engaging, honest and generous, this book will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. Lessons I’ve Learned is the closest thing to a Davina hug and we all need one of those…

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Davina McCall has been a staple of British TV for my whole life and I have always liked her. She is enthusiastic, funny and shows herself to be. A caring and compassionate person too.

I read her autobiography Lessons I’ve Learned and got a glimpse of the lady behind the TV personality. She is so positive, honest and expressive. She doesn’t shy away, in fact she reveals all of the colourful aspects of her life. 

To say that McCall speaks with candour is an understatement. She discusses her past drug use, her difficult relationship with her mother and the heartbreaking details of her sisters final days. I will admit that I cried as Davina McAll talks about her sisters illness and the impact hat t had on her. It was utterly tear-jerking. 

If someone were to ask me if my opinion of Davina McCall has changed after reading Lessons I’ve Learned  then Would have to say not really. I already liked Davina. If anything her autobiography has endeared me to her much much more. I am so glad that I to know the person behind the personality. 

Lessons I’ve Learned by Davina McCall is available now.

For more information regarding Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Orion (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

Title: Something to Live For

Author: Richard Roper

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Orion

The Blurb

Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…

All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.

The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and his little white lie is about to catch up with him.

Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.

The Review

What a quirky, unusual love story.

Something to Live For is the story of Andrew. Andrew spends most of his time looking after the final journey for the dead. He arranges funerals for those who have no families. Andrew has something common with those he looks after. He is dead too. Not literally but his life is that closed off to people that he may as well be. But Andrew has a secret…

You cannot help but fall for Andrew and his little quirks but equally you cannot help but feel increasingly uncomfortable as his secret gets closer to being revealed.

I think Richard Roper has written a great story here and what I like is that he could write an accompanying story to give more of Andrew’s back story as a novella (hint hint – I really want Richard Roper to do this.)

You could liken Something to Live For as a similar kind of will they won’t they story much like One Day. It is of that ilk and is a thoroughly entertaining read.

Something to Live For by Richard Roper is available now.

For more information regarding Richard Roper (@richardroper) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Orion Books (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.


Title: Thirteen

Author: Steven Cavanagh

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Orion Books

The Blurb

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.


The Review

I would make a terrible detective and a terrible lawyer and a terrible FBI agent for that matter. For I am Lisa Bentley, the person who never quite cottons on to clues given in crime thriller novels. In essence, I am the perfect audience for crime fiction.

This brings me to the review of Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. Holy moly, this is a great novel. Let’s forget that I didn’t solve the crime, yada yada yada, but instead look at the way Steve Cavanagh builds tension and suspense in his novel. The chapters are palatably sized, you are always kept wanting more, to read more. His dual narrative makes you think you know what is going on and what is going to happen next (you really don’t) and the added inserts about jury members keeps you on your toes and invariably keeps you guessing over who the bad guy is. All in all, Steve Cavanagh did good.

Thirteen is actually the fourth book in the Eddie Flynn series. I haven’t read the earlier books because as I have said, crime fiction is not really my genre of choice. If I was asked to recommend a book – which I very often am – and they want a crime/mystery/thriller, then Steve Cavanagh will be at the top of that list.

Read Thirteen. It will either make you feel really smart if you guess whodunit or like me it will make you marvel at someone else’s genius and not your lack of mad detective skills.

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is available now.

For more information regarding Steven Cavanagh (@SSCav) please visit www.stevecavanagh.com.

For more information regarding Orion Books (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

Title: Brief Encounters

Author: Kate Harrison

Pages: 80 Pages

Publisher: Orion

The Blurb

Hope is overworked – and so over relationships – when she embarks on a mystery tour arranged by her sister Faith, who has promised her a mini break guaranteed free of romantic four-posters, red roses or dinners for two.

Hope’s trying to travel light – yet as she leaves London Euston, her emotional baggage begins to catch up with her. Will the journey finish her off . . . or will it be the start of something new

The Review

Well Brief Encounters was a cute story. I think what made it so cute was that it was very relatable. Not to make me sound a little crazy but I travel on down to London from Liverpool quite regularly and I spend the 2 hours and 9 minutes having imaginary conversations in my head. I really should put those two hours to good use and write a story; next journey to London that is exactly what I am going to do.

Brief Encounters is a great little short about revisiting the past loves of your life and seeing how they have shaped you in to the person you are today. Hope’s past love life made a light and enjoyable read.

Brief Encounters by Kate Harrison is available now.

For more information regarding Kate Harrison (@KateWritesBooks) please visit www.kate-harrison.com.

For more information regarding Orion (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

3 Stars

Title: Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier

Author: Helen Rolfe

Pages: 83 Pages

Publisher: Orion

The Blurb

Spring is coming to The Café at the End of the Pier… A feel good novella and the start of a brilliant new series…

Jo has settled into running her grandparents’ little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven. She’s given it a spring-clean and a spruce-up and she’s getting to know the locals and starting to enjoy life by the sea.

But when her Harry, her ex-boyfriend, turns out to be her new accountant, feelings from the past start to flood back. He’s here to help sort out the café’s finances, which Jo’s grandparents left in a mess, but Harry seems to have a hidden agenda and Jo isn’t entirely sure spending time with him is a good idea.

Jo throws herself into her new plans for the café – turning it into a real café of love by arranging blind dates for some of the regulars. Her own love life might be non-existent, but it doesn’t mean she can’t bring a little bit of magic to the locals who have made her so welcome. This time she chooses single-dad Ben and doctor Jess. Will they find love at The Café at the End of the Pier?

And will Jo manage to put aside her feelings for Harry in order to give the café the future she dreams of for it…?


The Review

Part Two of the Café at the end of the Pier series was just as eventful and intriguing as the first. We welcome back Jo who seems much more settled and confident than she did in the first book. She is still intent on putting her own spin on the café that she has taken over from her grandparents and she is determined to make it a success…even if she may be having financial problems already.

What is especially great about Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier is that we learn a little more of Jo’s back story. We learn more about her mother and her siblings and also more about what drove her to move to Scotland all those years ago. Furthermore, familiar faces are popping up and appear to be trying to rock the comfy boat that the café has been for Jo.

I am really enjoying this series and I have already pre-ordered the third because I have to know what happens. Helen Rolfe, I am realising, is a master of slowly dripping tantalising information into the story to keep you hooked. Very clever.

If you want to make a clever decision today then that should be to download the first two books in the series and binge on them. They are perfect stories for those who love the comfort found in between the pages.

Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe is available now.

For more information regarding Helen Rolfe (@HJRolfe) please visit www.helenjrolfe.com.

For more information regarding Orion (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.

4 Stars