#BookReview Perception and Illusion by Catherine Kullmann #historicalfiction #RBRT

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

An alluring story of a young girl, Lallie, who lost her mother at birth and is kept closeted by her father and stepmother. However, when her father hatches a plan to wed her to a man she dislikes to keep control of her fortune, Lallie plans her escape and finds herself ultimately in a more agreeable match, but can she navigate the world of the gentry and the complexities of her spouse? 

I absolutely loved this historical romance as the characters really came to life and unlike many stories the plot went beyond the happy ever after ending as the author showed, not only her connection with history, but her understanding of people and their actions. 

I found this difficult to put down and impossible to fault. A thoroughly satisfying read. 

Links To Book:

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#BookReview The Substitute (The Wedding Pact #1) by Denise Grover Swank #Tuesdaybookblog #Romance

​Megan broke up with her fiance, Jay, six weeks ago, but couldn’t face telling her overbearing mother who has planned the wedding. Now she’s heading back home to Kansas City for her wedding and the last possible moment to break the bad news to her family. However, one thing leads to another and she finds the man sat next to her becomes a substitute for her fiance giving her an opportunity to end the wedding on her terms, what could possibly go wrong? 

This romcom caper was amusing and not too cringeworthy to read with an eccentric grandmother and a cast of interesting characters thrown in. Megan wasn’t the typical damsel in distress even though she has serious boundary issues with her mother. Josh, the tall handsome stranger she meets on the plane was probably the least interesting character in the pack and his often mentioned patootie didn’t really make up for it. 

This is the first book in a series that is tied together by three female friends who have had their fortune told and are warned to expect three unpredictable wedding upheavals. I’m not sold completely on the series but this was a good, fun and lighthearted read that would be ideal for a bit of escapism. 

Links To Book:

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Book Review: Me Without You by Kelly Rimmer

This Australian romance set in Sydney is about Callum who meets Lilah and both become inseparable despite their very different approaches and attitudes to life. Neither one of them were looking for a serious relationship but for very different reasons.

This funny and plucky romance was easy to read and become invested in, with idyllic settings, which provided effective backdrops for two people to fall in love.

However, this is far from a feel good romance and readers should brace themselves for heart-wrenching tragedy. However despite the sadness, this was a very good read and one I would k d recommend even though I am not a huge romance reader.

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

Links To Book:
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Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

A Christmas story about a couple in crisis, as work and children take priority in their lives, but when Neal decides to go to his Mom for Christmas with daughters Alice and Noomi, Georgie, his wife, is left to evaluate her life and marriage. Georgie has to forego the family Christmas trip to write scripts for her new up and coming comedy show with bestfriend, Seth. However, one night at her mother’s she discovers she can dial Neal in 1998, before their marriage began, and just maybe this crazy anomaly will give her the opportunity to save her marriage.

I missed reading this one last year and holiday/romance reads are not a priority for me, but this relatively short novel was spellbinding in its characters and angst. We retrace the first time Neal and Georgie met, see them overcome hurdles to be together and battle life for their marriage, but will it be enough to save it.

I particularly enjoyed reading about Georgie’s family, her Mom and sister, Heather, provide much comic relief with their adorable pugs, who also came as a package deal in this literary family.

I can see why this was voted the best literary fiction novel on Goodreads in 2014 and glad I had an opportunity to pick it up.

Links To Book:
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Reflective Nostalgia: How We Met

Thirteen years ago on this date it was a sunny, cold Saturday. A friend of my sister-in-law had invited me to go with her to a party organised by an Asian marriage bureau. When I expressed my instinctive urge to not go I was shot down by the reality I would never meet prospective matches if I did not make an effort. I remember driving to my place of employment on that Saturday morning and then walking to the nearest tube station where I had arranged to meet my friend.

We went back to my flat in Chiswick and later that evening we took a taxi to a Hilton hotel where this dinner party was to take place. We had booked a twin room for the night and I was very nervous about the whole thing. For some reason we changed rooms because our room was cold and the heating did not work or some such.

After suiting up and preparing ourselves for the occasion we made our way to the function rooms. My mind was on red alert, telling me this was a bad idea, but backing out would have been letting my new friend down and I could not do that.

My friend is gorgeous and she got a lot of attention, I just felt like a fish out of water. We found the table we were supposed to be seated at and waited for everyone to take their seats. A tall guy with the most garish tie I had ever seen, pulled up a chair a couple of seats down from my left. My mind threw out a random thought that I was going to marry this guy and I internally laughed at this preposterous thought.

The guy with the tie passed around his warrant card to establish he was a police officer, I was baffled at the time as to why he did this and we said hello and made small talk. As the evening progressed my friend was introduced to a number of people and I found myself sitting and chatting to tie-guy and his friends. I found out they had come down from Birmingham and tie-guy made me feel at ease. Even though at one point he did asked to be introduced to my very attractive friend. However, later on that evening he jock-blocked another guy from chatting to me.

The dining room turned into a dance floor after we finished our meals and tie-guy and I went into the reception room to get away from the loud music. At some point he gave me his mobile phone number and asked for mine, which I felt comfortable about and complied with.

When the evening ended and tie-guy and his friends left and I was reunited with my friend we caught up on the evening’s proceedings. I had spent most of the party chatting to tie-guy and my friend wanted details. In all honesty, I didn’t feel anything but ease and camaraderie with tie-guy but once we got back to our room I text tie-guy, wishing him a safe journey home.

Only after chatting with my friend for a while did I feel that something big had happened to me that evening. Tie-guy and I continued to message each other the next day and soon we were calling each other every day, we told each other everything about ourselves; our fears and hopes. It was not long until he put his cards on the table and asked me to marry him. We were engaged within a few months and we encountered total bewilderment amongst our relatives as to why we wanted to be together. How do you explain meeting the part of yourself that has been missing? We were married just over seven months after meeting.

Thirteen years and several medical diagnoses, admission and procedures, cats, cars, motorbikes, tears, upset, losses, unbelievably happy moments, stark realisations, unwavering support, misunderstandings, misconceptions, losing our mums, no kids, and no prospect of having kids later, tie-guy and I are still best friends and soulmates. We’ve seen each other at our best and our worst. As long as we have each other everything is as it should be.

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So it’s Valentines Day

Years ago when I was much younger I often dreamed of having someone who would give me cards, flowers and the whole shebang on Valentines Day. I dreamt I’d be with a romantic who trumped all romantics. So you could say I had very high expectations of a beau.

I met my husband when I was 27 and I remember our very first Valentines Day, he bought me flowers, a card and took me out to dinner, it was very nice. However, if I’m being honest it pales in comparison to every “ordinary” day I have with him now. Everyday my husband shows me love, affection and understanding beyond measure. There hasn’t been a day since we met that he hasn’t made me feel loved and wanted. I think he’s the reason I’m still here, as in brutal honesty, I would have lost the reason to live years ago without him.

I suffer from multiple illnesses including mental illness and despite seeing me at my lowest he doesn’t feel anything other than love for me. He’s never looked at me and thought, “what if?” He stated to me plainly when I have been in pain, defeated, and suicidal that I’m his raison d’être and I believe him. I have never doubted my husband or his feelings for me, nor if I’m very honest have I experienced such unconditional love until I met him. That’s a pretty big deal for me as I am prone to doubt everything and I have caused him much pain in our 11 years together but we belong together. There’s no doubt in my mind after everything we have shared and experienced together that I was ever supposed to be elsewhere.

Despite my many flaws, which he tells me he cannot see, I feel security and love. He tells me he only wishes I could see myself through his eyes and appreciate who I am. You see to me I’m a failed, unemployed, messed up individual who drew short straws on the fertility front but this couldn’t be further than the person my husband sees. He’s never made me feel inadequate in any way. I learnt the true meaning of compassion from my husband. No material thing on this planet comes remotely close to what he gives me each day and I wouldn’t change a thing about him.

One day, with a hell of a lot of therapy I may feel some compassion for myself I hope, heal the damage I live with but in the meantime I’m with the only person on this planet who can give me a reason to be better.

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Not Book Reviews Really: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory, About Last Night by Adele Parks

I know I’m late to the party reading the historical fiction of Phillippa Gregory but after walking past the print edition of her books numerous times in supermarkets and coming across them on Amazon I decided to give the first book in the Cousins series a try. It didn’t disappoint and was filled with political intrigue. It’s a long book some 13 hours on Kindle I think and I did fall asleep reading it at times and it took longer to read than my usual fare but none of those things is bad.

The book engaged me, held my interest and left me wanting more. It set the historical scene well but didn’t dwell on the details. I was moved to sorrow and relief as the plot twisted and turned, I will no doubt read the next one.

About Last Night by Adele Parks has been hanging around my wish list for ages. Again this is the first book I am reading from this author and like The White Queen it was an independent purchase, (well as independent as a purchase can be in this age of aggressive marketing) I heard good things so decided to give her a try. I did enjoy this book but in all honesty I found it repetitive at times labouring the same point and I can’t quite put my finger on it but I’m not moved to buy her other books at the moment. This may change if hype pushes another few titles but I definitely was not left wanting more of this one.

I suppose I found the characters frustrating at times and likeable but it felt mundane reading about their lives and childcare options etc. I think maybe Adele Parks writes in a genre I don’t find particularly intriguing, maybe it is I who needs more blood, guts and intrigue to keep me entertained. It was a heartwarming romance and not a bad read as such but just lacked a bit of sparkle for me.

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Book Review: Killing Cupid by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards

Description

He is watching her…

The bestselling book and internet sensation, now in a brand new updated edition with exclusive new material.

Doesn’t love always feel this way?

Alex Parkinson is in love with his writing tutor, Siobhan. He has never loved anyone like this, but how can he convince Siobhan that they are meant to be together?

So Alex stalks her on Facebook and finds out where she lives, buys her presents using her own credit card and sends her messages telling her exactly what he wants to do to her. He breaks into her house, reads her diary and secretly listens to her while she takes a bath.

Isn’t that what all lovers do?

But when a love rival appears on the scene, Alex has to take drastic action, and soon a young woman lies dead after tumbling from the roof of her house. Now there is no-one standing in the way of Alex and his true love. But someone is watching Alex too and he is about to discover that there is a thin line between love – and hate…

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Review

Alex meets Siobhan when he enrols in a college writing course. He is immediately attracted to her but his actions as a result are creepy and overstep the mark. However, as you progress through this book you wonder just who is the creepy one behaving irrationally and is Alex a killer?

I was totally absorbed in this disturbing thriller/romance. I loved the flawed characters and their very entertaining insecurities and neuroses. A very entertaining thriller indeed.

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Book Review: Window Shopping For Men by Jemima McCandless

Description

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy based on a true story – Jade’s story. Would you travel 6000 miles for a first date? What lengths will Jade go to in her search for Mr Right, and more importantly, will it be worth all the trouble?

Review

I have read a few chick-flick books but it isn’t my preferred genre however I was pleasantly surprised to like this one. I got into it by the time I reached 23% and couldn’t put it down until I had found out what happened to Jade in Singapore. Having had some experience of internet dating myself I found the book hilarious and could relate to Jade’s dilemmas. Well written and very witty in parts.

This book had me laughing and cringing and was a real pleasure to read.

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Book Review: Missing You by Louise Douglas

Description

Fen works in a bookshop and is devoted to her young son, Connor, but she keeps herself to herself. Haunted by guilt and a terrible secret, Fen lives a compromised life, isolated from her family, far from home and too afraid of the past to risk becoming close to anyone. She is constantly looking over her shoulder, knowing that one day the truth will catch up with her. Sean, on the other hand, is enjoying a seemingly perfect life. He has a successful career, lives in his dream home and adores his beautiful wife, Belle, and their six-year-old daughter, Amy. That is until the day Belle announces she has found someone else and wants Sean to move out. Circumstance throws Fen and Sean together. Slowly their quiet friendship turns into something much deeper and the joy they find in one another eventually gives them the confidence to trust and love again. But will the past tear them apart just as they find happiness?

Review

This romance set in the UK between Swindon and Bristol seems to promise so much intrigue and mystery which sadly isn’t completely delivered. I think our main female protagonist Fen, is just not as likeable as she is written to be and she does come across as kinda lame.

Maybe I’m too old to enjoy this one? Maybe but it didn’t excite, it didn’t stir my heart and just missed something for me.

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