The First Time I Saw Your Face – Hazel Osmond

 

Jennifer had it all. But a terrible accident has taken almost everything. 

Moving back home, her future isn’t looking too bright. Until she meets Mack.

Sexy, dishevelled and just a little clumsy, he starts to make her believe that she can move on from the past and embrace life all over again. But he has a secret he’d do anything to protect and he’ll have to betray her to keep it…

 

I really enjoyed this book, however felt the middle bit let it down some what.  The quality of writing is good.  Very funny in places and well researched.  But I found myself getting a bit bored after Mack got found out, thinking get together already!  It was obvious how the book was going to end – which I don’t mind as it’s how they get there which I find more interesting.  But I was starting to think, I don’t care how these guys get together just do it already!

The description used is good, I could feel what Jen was going through and could relate to Mack’s predicament.  The humour had me laughing out loud in places.  The way Hazel has described the characters is great, she compares them to funny things.  I particularly liked how she’d described the people in the drama club.  I’m rating this as a good read.  My next book is Chloe by Freya North (I know an old one but I so enjoyed reading Sally a few weeks ago I have to read them all again)

Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire

 The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

 

This book is amazing – one of those that you cant put down when you start. One of those books which effects your emotions.  It’s such a complicated roller-coaster ride – quite like Travis and Abby’s relationship!  I love how he calls her Pigeon, at first I didn’t get it but now I do.  There is a lot of abuse in this book, no domestic violence but lots of guys getting beaten up which is quite gruesome but in a strange way I found myself okay with it.  People are comparing this book to a drug.  And I agree, it’s a book which pulls on your heart strings whilst at the same time makes you feel annoyed because you just want them to get the hell together already!  I’m gutted that I have to wait until next year to get my next fix but I’m so looking forward to the sequal.  The author is a genius.  I imagined Travis to be a beefier version of Professor Green.

I’m rating this book as a must read.

Monday To Friday Man – Alice Peterson

 He proposed. She accepted. He changed his mind. She was heartbroken.

What do you do if you’re 34 and recovering from being jilted two weeks before your wedding day?

While friends are marrying, having children and moving to the depths of the countryside, Gilly Brown finds herself alone in London with just her little dog Ruskin for company. It’s time to move on, so, on a friend’s advice she looks for a lodger, a Monday to Friday one, and finds handsome television producer Jack Baker. Gilly falls for Jack’s charm and is transported into an exciting social whirlwind of parties, dining out and glamour.

When Jack is introduced to Gilly’s family and friends, it’s only the attractive and eccentric Guy, the newest recruit in the dog walking group, who isn’t quite so convinced about Jack’s intentions. As Guy watches them grow closer, his suspicions of Jack and his feelings for Gilly deepen. Is Jack so perfect after all… and what exactly does he get up to at the weekends?

 

I loved this book.  Its touchingly (is that a word?) written.  I was bawling my eyes out when Guy lights a candle for  Megan and the way that Alice has written in the storyline of Megan is so beautiful.  I couldn’t put this book down, and read it really quickly.  It touches so many subjects without getting heavy and is well described in that I could picture every scene and character.  Guy was definitely my favourite I could see exactly what he looked like and loved the hats!  And I was routing for him and Gilly (with a G) to get together.   I didn’t want it to end.

I’m rating this as a must read.  My next book is Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The Love of My Life – Louise Douglass

‘I miss him with every breath and heartbeat. He should have been my happy ending. Instead, he is the sad beginning to my story.’

Olivia and Luca Felicone had known each other nearly all their lives, but when they fell in love as teenagers and eloped to London they broke the hearts of those closest to them. Luca’s parents run Marinella’s restaurant, the colourful hub of life in the otherwise bleak north-eastern seaside town of Watersford, and his mother, Angela, has never forgiven Olivia for causing such a rift in her beloved family.

On a freezing January night Olivia’s life is shattered when she learns that Luca has been killed in a car accident. She is left with nothing and, after suffering from weeks of overwhelming grief, she abandons her job and returns north to where Luca has been buried in Watersford.

Olivia’s chance meeting with Luca’s married twin brother, Marc, leads to the realization that he is experiencing a loss almost as painful as her own. Their desolation draws them into an affair which both know has no future, but fills the space where Luca should be. It is a course of action that can only spiral out of control, and when it does the consequences are both explosive and cruel.

The Love of My Life is a beautiful novel that portrays both the innocence of childhood, and the dynamics of love and loss with deftness and sensitivity. It is, above all, a stunning debut from an author with a unique and natural narrative voice

 

Such a moving story about a woman’s life; how she copes when her husband dies, and how her past affects her future.  This book is beautifully written moving from past the present seamlessly.  You can feel Liv’s pain, her desperation as she comes to terms with the loss of the love of her life.  She struggles against a family feud which you learn why in the story she tells.  There are funny bits, bits you can relate to – happy and sad.  Desperate to feel closer to Luca, she moves back to her home town where he’s buried but that isn’t enough.  She falls into an affair with Luca’s twin brother, to help her depression.  But it doesn’t help.  Liv manages to put some of her demons to rest, and comes to terms with the ones she can’t. 

This is quite a sad story, but without being too depressing it describes the grief of loosing a love one.  The author is such a good writer, it’s a sensitive subject but you don’t feel like your trespassing into someone’s grief or detached from the main character. 

I’m rating this as a must read.  My next book is Monday to Friday Man by Alice Peterson

Second Time Around – Erin Kaye

 

 

 The path of true love never did run smooth…

A heart-warming tale of love in the face of family and friendship, perfect for fans of Cathy Kelly and Maeve Binchy.

Divorcee Jennifer Irwin has it all – a successful interior design business and two loving children. But as her 45th birthday approaches and her children prepare to start their own lives, Jennifer is left feeling lonely in her empty nest.

That’s when she meets Ben Crawford – a man 16 years her junior – as their attraction heightens, Jennifer realises what she’s been missing. But mindful that the small-town Ballyfergus residents would never approve, they conduct their affair in secret.

But a secret is never a secret for long…

As the affair surfaces, Jennifer encounters opposition from friends and family, especially her daughter Lucy. Enraged by her mother’s relationship, Lucy seeks comfort in the arms of charismatic but troubled, Oren. Jennifer knows that Oren is not the man he seems, but can she convince her daughter of that?

And with everything going against them, can Jennifer and Ben’s love survive? Or will she risk losing her daughter to be with the man she loves?

An enjoyable read which was predictable in places but had a unique twist to the story.  I loved the setting.  Having never been to Ireland, I seem to have a small infatuation with this country.  It’s well written, which was easy to read right from the beginning.  I loved the couger story as well as Lucy’s.  It’s refreshing to read the traditional chick lit storey line with a modern twist.  But really it’s not a book I’ll rave about.  I enjoyed it, but it was just a good book really.  Good enough to read on holiday, or whilst relaxing after a hard day at work.

I’m rating this as a good read.  My next book is The Love of My Life by Louise Douglas

 

The Horse Dancer – Jojo Moyes

 From the bestselling author of Me Before You and two-time winner of the RNA Novel of the Year award.

In a hidden corner of London, Henri Lachapelle is teaching his granddaughter and her horse to defy gravity, just as he had done in France, fifty years previously. But when disaster strikes, fourteen-year-old Sarah is left to fend for herself.

Forced to share a house with her charismatic ex-husband, her professional judgement called into question, lawyer Natasha Macauley’s life seems to have gone awry. When her path crosses that of Sarah, she sees a chance to put things right.

But she doesn’t know that Sarah is keeping a secret, one that will change all their lives forever . . .

Finally a book which correctly describes my feeling and bond I have with my horse.  I was lucky enough to have lessons with well known Classical Dressage instructor – and what JoJo has captured is so true and correct.  Her acknowledgements dedicate this book to Mecca Harris a real life Sarah who was tragically murdered.  I found the book so moving, and gripping.  I could relate to it totally, the sacrifices made to be able to have a horse, the rewards and partnership you can have when you get it right.  My story isn’t the same as Mecca or Sarah, but many of my weekends were spent helping out at my local riding school.  Unable to have a horse when I was a child, it was a dream that I focused on, something which got me through the bullying and challenges at school.  For me I was only able to have a horse when I could pay for it myself so, knowing I had to have a decent job to pay the livery, and basic care costs; I knuckled down at college but didn’t go to University.  I went straight into work at 18 and saved for a year so I could buy my first horse, who 7 years later I still have.  She means the world to me and has helped me live my dream.  Jojo has managed to describe this perfectly.  She’s evoked emotions and memories and also made me question how far I would go to ensure my horse was safe. 

Even if you’re not horsey I think you would still enjoy this book as it describes the way of life in such a way not to alienate readers. The book isn’t 100% horses it also follows a couple going through a divorse.  I think if you weren’t into horses that you would still find it a great read as it is so well written.

I really enjoyed this book so I’m rating it as a must read.

My next book is Second Time Around by Erin Kaye

Leaving Green Island – Em Barrett

   More than simply a modern love story, Leaving Green Island is a poignant yet lighthearted tale of friendship, family and the search for a place to belong in the complex world of today’s twenty-something women. 

With a new job at a prestigious Chicago law firm and an engagement ring on her finger, everything seems to be falling into place for Brecken Pereira these days. However, all this perfection quickly unravels when Reed Whalen, Brecken’s first love, unexpectedly resurfaces. The complicated history of the enigmatic Reed unfolds as the two summers that Brecken spent as a teenager on posh, exclusive Green Island in northern Michigan are interspersed with her relatable and humorous modern day trials and tribulations.

After Reed’s reappearance, Brecken is torn between her longing for the past and the life she has carefully built for herself since Reed vanished years before. Her true-to-life and complex relationships with her two best friends provide the backbone that supports Brecken, both as the life she knows quickly dissolves around her and as she struggles to pick up the pieces. 

This unputdownable novel is certain to pull on the heartstrings of anyone who ever had a first love.

** “If you enjoy Emily Giffin or Jennifer Weiner, then add Em Barrett to your list!” ~The Indie Bookshelf, September 1, 2012 **

I dont know what to say about this book.  I finished reading it two days ago and I’ve been itching to come on here and tell you guys all about it but each time I try to put my words down I delete what I write.  Nothing seems to come even close to what I thought of it.  Writer’s block I suppose!  Three words seem to come close – I loved it!  Impeccably written, such detail I felt like I was there on Green Island with the characters.  The way it jumped from past and present had just enough of each to keep me interested but not disappointed when we leave the current day to go back to the past.  I was there with every emotion, the writing is really good (I know I’ve said it already but worth a mention again) not one sentence did I read and think huh?! and have to read it again.

This is definitely a book I’ll read again and again, an author to watch.  I’m excited to see what comes next… a sequel maybe?  This is my book of the month.

My next book is by Jojo Moyes, called The Horse Dancer.

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