Title: Lovestruck

Author: Laura Jane Williams

Pages: 410 Pages

Publisher: Century Publishing

The Blurb

This isn’t one love story. It’s two.

Becca Calloway is calling it: she’s ready for Mr Right, and she’s ready now.

She even goes as far as to hold a manifestation ceremony for him – and when she receives a text from her ex five minutes later, she knows it’s a sign.

The problem is, she doesn’t know which way it’s pointing…

Should Becca reply and reignite things with her old flame Mike? Or delete and block, moving forward with the new man in her life?

Becca has one choice, with two ways this could go. And in Lovestruck, you’re about to see them both…

The Review

Lovestruck was a really interesting take on a romance story. It is the story of Becca Calloway and how she wants to find the love of her life. And just like buses, three new loves appear all at once …sort of (I had to be really careful how I phrased that).

Told over parallel alternative timelines we see Becca navigate love with Mike, Carlos and Noah. Which one will Becca choose – even she doesn’t know.

So, often I have issues with the sort of groundhog day style of writing but Williams has been very clever about it and has actually managed to make you root for all three men AND still like the protagonist.

My one problem with Lovestruck is that while it was a good story I was able to put it down. It took me far longer than it normally does to read a book. I liked it but I didn’t manage to fully invest in it. I am glad I read it and the writing was really good it just didn’t engage me the way I was expecting it to.

Lovestruck by Laura Jane Williams is available now.

For more information regarding Century Publishing (@centurybooksuk) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: You and Me on Vacation

Author: Emily Henry

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

TWO FRIENDS

TEN SUMMER TRIPS

THEIR LAST CHANCE TO FALL IN LOVE

12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.

11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.

10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver. 

Poppy holds his hand the whole way.

7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.

2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong.

THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.

You and Me on Vacation is a love story for fans of When Harry Met Sally and One Day. Get ready to travel the world, snort with laughter and – most of all – lose your heart to Poppy and Alex.

The Review

Although this review won’t be live for a few weeks I am going to tell you about the weather. It is hot. Like hot hot. And I am ginger and I don’t do well in this heat. However, one thing that has kept me sane during this stupid heatwave is reading You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry. It was boss.

It is the story of Poppy and Alex – the epitome of the perfect will they won’t they couple – who are best friends but just cannot seem to take things to the next step where we all know that they belong. Set over many years, fast forwarding and rewinding, we see their love story play out and yes, you, dear reader, will be screaming at these characters to kiss her/him you fool.

Recently, I haven’t read a lot of romance books, they have fallen a little out of favour genre wise for me but dammit You and Me on Vacation was a brilliant step back into the romance story.

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry is available now.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

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.