Advance #bookreview Right Here Right Now by Georgia Beers #romance #fiction #LBGT #Netgalley

Lacey likes to have her life in a familiar routine, which is disturbed when a new company moves into neighbouring office space. When she meets Alicia there is instant attraction for them both but as they get to know each other hurdles crop up until the biggest hurdle from Alicia’s past threatens any future they could have together.

A slow burn get to know the characters romance that was easy to read and intrigued me to find find out what happens to our two protagonists. I’m not a regular reader of LBGT/lesbian romance but I did enjoy reading this romance novel.

This book will be available to buy from Amazon from 12th December 2017

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#Bookreview The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney #contemporary #romance #fiction #Tuesdaybookblog

A huge fight between three sisters results in them not talking to one another for three years, but matriarch, Lola, their grandmother decides enough is enough and summons all three to attend her eightieth birthday celebrations. Much awkwardness ensues as the fight started because the youngest sister, Carrie, married middle sister, Bett’s fiancé. However, all three sisters and grandmother Lola are keeping secrets of their own.

A far gentler read than I’m used to, this moderately paced contemporary romance gradually hooked me on the central characters and before I knew it I was totally invested. The author drew forward laughter and tears, but more tears than laughter from me, as I am a tough audience when it comes to humour in books. I absolutely loved eccentric Lola in this book and my bias of other characters in the book was coloured by Lola’s point of view.

Not a typical read for me but I enjoyed this contemporary romance set in Australia nonetheless.

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#Bookreview The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr #contemporary #fiction #mystery #Netgalley

I wasn’t sure where this book was headed as the original description did not prepare me for the strange rollercoaster ride this story embarked on.

Seventeen year old Ella Black is not very popular in school has two friends, Jack and Lily, and overprotective parents. In addition to this she has a psychological alter ego she calls Bella (Bad Ella) who surfaces from time to time making Ella do abhorrent things she cannot control. One day whilst at school Ella’s mother shows up and takes her out. The next thing Ella knows is she is headed to Heathrow and boards a plane to Rio. Once in Rio a dark family secret, eventually, is uncovered and Ella finds herself unable to be around her parents who kept it from her.

I would say this is probably the most unusual story I have inadvertently picked up this yet and after finishing it, I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. I found Ella a difficult protagonist to connect with and the plot was not easy to buy into, apart from that it was well written and I did finish it.

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#BookReview Asking For It by Louise O’Neill #contemporaryfiction #amreading

​Set in a small Irish village this gripping novel does not pull any punches as eighteen year old Emma, a queen bee in her social circle, goes to a party one night that changes her life forever. The effect of alcohol, drugs and resulting social media in a present day where equanimity among the sexes still remains a theoretical idea, sees Emma weather her own prejudices as well as those of the people around her.

What made this hard-hitting read memorable for me was that Emma was not a sanitised character but one that was imperfect and authentic. This made hard reading in many ways as we navigated the brutal world of teens and the aftermath of the party that changes everything for Emma and her family.

It is hard to read a work of fiction like this without feeling outraged and horrified but it also saddens me that with great breakthroughs in this day and age we have still quite a way to go to address women’s rights around the world. Not an easy read but o e with many triggers as this tackles the issue of rape and consent, but in my opinion a must read. 

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#BookReview Confess by Colleen Hoover #Romance #wwwblogs

​Looking for a job, fate brings Auburn to an exclusive art gallery, where the eccentric owner, Owen, offers her the job. However, the undeniable chemistry between them is overshadowed by secrets they are keeping and issues they face in their lives. Can the past hold the key to their future happiness.

I’m not a huge romance reader but found this sentimental romance a compelling read. The mystery behind the connection between Auburn and Owen kept me turning the pages rapidly and the premise of Owen’s artwork, painting based on anonymous confessions was also an irresistible hook in the story. 

I enjoyed this read very much and it ignited an interest in me to explore more titles in the romance genre, instead of trying to avoid it. I highly recommend Confess and with Spring in the air I hope to bring you a series of romance book reviews.

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#BookReview My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal #literaryfiction #wwwblogs

​Nine year old Leon becomes an older half-brother to the perfect baby, Jake. However, their mother Carol isn’t coping after Jake’s arrival, which leads to the boys going to a foster home. Jake is adopted leaving Leon without a mother or brother trying to translate what the grown-ups mean. When Maureen, Leon’s foster- mother is taken ill more disruption leads to Leon’s anger and resentment for the separation he’s been dealt.

Based in the eighties, London, I found this book, told from Leon’s point of view, compelling. Being immersed in the era of my own childhood made this read special. At times funny but overall heart-breaking and provocative with a hint of optimism, there was no way to avoid feeling affection for Leon and reading him grow as the story progressed.

Beautifully written and utterly mesmerising, I really loved reading this and was sorry to reach the end and disengage from the characters. I emphatically recommend this read.

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#BookReview Beautiful To The Bone by PG Lengsfelder #literaryfiction

​Eunis is born albino and has a birthmark on her face. Since as early as she can remember her appearance has caused her mother, siblings and virtually all who see her to recoil in disgust and fear. Eunis’s experiences scar her and lead her to try to quantify beauty, to understand why someone is attractive. Her question takes her from the American Mid-West to New York taking jobs that no one would particularly want to do. But the road to find answers is treacherous and full of heartache, especially for Eunis and her sensitive abilities.

The contrasting themes of scientific quantification of beauty, it’s existence evidenced in genealogy and DNA and Eunis’s supernatural perceptive skills clash in this powerful and heartbreaking story of a young girl facing discrimination and derision from those who should have protected her.

There were so many places I wanted to stop reading this as I was so moved and or appalled for Eunis but in the end I had to see the story to the end and I’m glad I did. Not an easy or light read, this one is demanding in many ways but I won’t be forgetting Eunis in the near future.

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#BookReview All Involved by Ryan Gattis

​After the Rodney King verdict in 1992 a city erupted into violence. This precarious time allowed street gangs to jostle for power and heap revenge on their rivals. All Involved starts with the story of a young Mexican man, Ernesto, who is not ganged up but the oldest brother of two Chicano gang members. He is targeted by rival gang members and killed violently to send a message, resulting in violent retaliation. 

This story is powerful and skilfully told as a daily account over six days of rioting. Gritty and graphic it is not a read for the weak and gives real insight into the thought processes of the ganged up characters Grattis has developed. I found the book graphic to the point I could see it as a TV series. 

Although centered at the time of the Rodney King trial, the characters and events portrayed in the book are fictional. However, Grattis has dug deep to tell this story in a remarkable fashion. This book is hard-hitting and memorable.

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#BookReview An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston

I chose this book to read from Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team book list.

Having not read any of the previous books in this series before I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by the story of Harriet Westmoreland and her family going away on a skiing holiday with the family of her bestfriend, Grace and her husband’s business partner. This motley crew of skiers and all the history they share makes for entertaining reading as Harriet bumps into someone from her past and a family secret comes to light. Even though the relationships past and present are a little complex in this group of characters, I found it reasonably easy to follow who had been involved with whom as I read this book. 

I found it easy to read and get into this light-hearted book as I could relate to Harriet in her dislike of heights, the cold and finding skiing less than a natural pass-time. With a stunning backdrop of the Alps and the opulence of their luxury chalet, I found this highly enjoyable and recommend this humorous and light-hearted read this season. I may even go back to read the prequels as I liked the characters very much indeed. 

This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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#BookReview The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell #amreading

​This family saga covers the life of Lorelei and her family of four children. Lorelei has always wanted to give her kiddos a better childhood than her own but somewhere along the years she became a prolific hoarder. The effect this had on her children was profound and diverse, but a tragic incident on Easter Sunday 1991 leaves the family shocked and adrift leading to a number of poor decisions which distance them from each other and sets them on very different paths.

I was totally absorbed by this read and trying to understand the characters in this family mystery. It is well written and impossible to put down once you start reading it. The degree of plausibility of the story, the characters nd how they react is exemplary demonstrating a deep understanding of human behaviour and the affliction of hoarding by this talented author. 

There were moments where I gasped and moments where the characters irritated me like real people but I could not put this down until I had read to the very end and I will miss the Bird family and all who knew them. 

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