It’s a Kind of Magic

I’ve finally finished another book! This one seemed to take a while to read again though! 😦

I love Carole Matthews, and was looking forward to finally reading this after I’d picked it up on a second hand book stall. Although this is another chick lit book, it was a very bizarre one! I’m not saying I didn’t like it, it was pretty good, but just unrealistic and random!

Emma and Leo have been together for goodness knows how long… But they’ve been more off than on as Leo is an incredibly unpredictable and unreliable boyfriend. When Leo turns up at Emma’s 30th Birthday Party, drunk and incredibly late Emma has had enough. Then on his way home Leo meets Isobel, a fairy! Leo starts to change while with Isobel and realises how much of a naff boyfriend he has been, but will he let go of Isobel?

Like I said this was a very bizarre book. One minute Emma wanted Leo and kept calling him, then when he phoned her back seconds later she hangs up and changes her mind! Then the fairy thing… That was weird! I tried to forget about the fairyness and think of Isobel as a normal person, but it’s a little hard!

I loved most of the characters, and I wish we’d seen more of Leo’s neighbour Dominic who seemed like a lovely guy! But why write a fairy into a book like this?! Very strange! Anyway, fairy aside this was an OK book. It definitely isn’t one of the best chick-lit books I’ve read but it was still an OK, light read.

 

 

Blogmas Day 3 – Christmas Books

We’ve made it to day 3! I got up early this morning so I have some time to write this before starting my work!

Today’s post is about Christmas books! I’ve read several Christmas themed books in the last few years so I thought I’d share with you briefly my favourite three as well as some of the other ones that I’ve read and would recommend to anyone trying to get in the Christmas mood!

1. Calling Mrs Christmas 

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I read Calling Mrs Christmas this time last year and I loved it. It was great fun:

“Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She’s soon in huge demand and Cassie’s business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born.

Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children so he enlists Cassie’s help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients.

When Carter asks Cassie to join them on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn’t go. As much as tries, Cassie can’t deny how drawn she is to Carter and everything he has to offer, but she still loves her warm-hearted Jim. Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life.”

2. I Heart Christmas

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I haven’t reviewed this book on my blog here as I read it before I started my blog, but this is a brilliant book by Lindsey Kelk and is currently the last in the brilliant “I Heart” series which I could recommend to anyone who loves chick lit books!

Angela’s planning her very own fairytale of New York…

• Enormous Christmas tree
• Eggnog
• Eccentric British traditions
• Gorgeous man

But Santa’s throwing her a few curveballs – new job (as if it’s not mental enough already), new baby-craze from her best friend Jenny, and Alex determined they should grow up and settle down. Once friends start turning up uninvited on her doorstep (and leading her astray), can Angela really have a merry little Christmas? So much for happy holidays – something’s got to give…”

3. Christmas With Billy and Me

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Again, I haven’t reviewed this book on here, but I have reviewed the sequel “Always with Love“. I absolutely adore the Billy and Me series from Giovanna Fletcher and cannot recommend it enough to anyone. They’re some of my favourite books and I love the characters, and I really really hope we get more of these Billy and Me books!

“Christmas has come to Rosefont Hill and it’s destined to be a particularly special festive season for Sophie May.

When a smitten stranger emails Sophie to ask her if he can propose to the woman he loves in her little teashop, the romantic in her finds it impossible to refuse. Even though Christmas is her busiest time of year she has her own sweetheart, Hollywood actor Billy Buskin, to lend a helping hand. How could she say no to making someone’s dream come true?

As Sophie and Billy work together to plan the perfect fairytale proposal for this couple, excitement in Rosefont Hill is mounting. Who is this mysterious man? And who is the lucky lady he’s about to get down on one knee for?”

Other Christmas books that I’ve read and recommend

What Christmassy books have you read? What would you recommend me reading?

Welcome to the Real World

I am absolutely loving Carole Matthews’ books at the moment, mainly because they’re so easy to read. The short chapters make it easy to get lost and feel like you’re reading loads, but also allowing you to find good places to stop.

Next up was “Welcome to the Real World”. I’m so glad I found Carole Matthews after reading “The Cake Shop in the Garden” last year!

Fern works in a run-down pub in the middle of London and also lives in an equally run-down apartment. Fern is badly paid but being selfless she gives whatever money she can to her brother and her sick nephew.

Then her best friend Carl sets Fern up with a job interview and much to Fern’s surprise she gets the job as an assistant to a world-famous opera singer, Evan David. But the relationship suddenly becomes more than Evan David wants and he pushes Fern away. Fern enters the Fame Game talent show but will she stick it out? Particularly when she finds out that Evan is one of the judges.

“Welcome to the Real World” was a great book, and I loved the characters, and small tiny changes in the plot kept you thinking and guessing throughout. I definitely got fooled near the end!

I, like I’ve noticed many other people comment, am slightly confused as to the title. Is it referring to Fern entering Evan’s real world, or is it Even entering Fern’s “real world”, even then I’m not sure how much of a real world it is for either of them!

All in all this was a great book and I can’t wait to read more of Carole Matthews’ books!

A Place to Call Home

I picked up “A Place to Call Home” over the summer in Amazon’s 3 for £10 deal on paperbacks but hadn’t yet got round to reading it. Having moved (back) to university this week and finally finishing “Walking the Nile” by Levison Wood I decided to have a go at this book.

“A Place to Call Home” was a lovely book. It was very easy to imagine it as being a real scenario as it is based on a topic that is quite a prevalent in today’s society.

Ayesha moved to the UK from Sri Lanka many years ago in order to marry her husband in an arranged marriage. To begin with her married life was great, and together with her husband had a daughter, Sabina. But not long after everything started going wrong for Ayesha. In the middle of the night Ayesha leaves with her nine year old daughter in tow to find a new life.

Ayesha quickly meets Joy, Crystal and Hayden and slowly starts to rebuild her life but she constantly lives in fear. Will her husband come to find her?

“A Place to Call Home” was a page turner! I was a little unsure in the first chapter but  I got in to the book quickly and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t put it down and read the whole book in just over 24h.

I adored all of the characters and even grumpy old Joy I loved by the end of the book. I really loved the relationships that Carole Matthews created between all of the main characters and loved watching the recovery of Hayden, Ayesha and Sabina.

The problem with some chick lits is that they can be predictable, and I won’t lie there were some parts of the story that I could guess but that didn’t stop me enjoying them. Despite the predictability of some of the story the end was great, if not slightly annoying where I found myself annoyed at Hayden.

All in all “A Place to Call Home” was a great book that faces what some may view as a Taboo subject. I enjoyed the whole story and would recommend it to anyone.

A Compromising Position

While I was on holiday in Jersey last week I stumbled across a little second hand book stall in Durrell Wildlife Park. I decided to have a quick look and I was excited to see 6 Carole Matthews books in there. At 50p a book I couldn’t really resist and bought the whole lot and have started working through them.

I’ve enjoyed reading previous Carole Matthews books such as “A Cottage by the Sea” and “The Cake Shop in the Garden” so couldn’t wait to get stuck in to these. First to be read was “A Compromising Position”. I was intrigued by the title so decided to give it a go.

Emily trusts her boyfriend… Or she did until he posted compromising photos of her online. Emily’s life quickly spirals out of control and she starts to lose everything, her boyfriend, job, house and more.

Emily turns to her friend Cara who is determined to help her get back on track, but what happens when they both fall in love… With the same man?

I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. It was published first in 2002 so I suppose the internet and that kind of thing were still quite new and not necessarily yet common in every household. But reading it now in 2016 you know that something like this might occur more often. So it was a relatable story.

The characters were mostly likeable. Emily and Adam certainly were, but Cara confused me a bit, as did Emily’s ex-boyfriend in the sense that they seemed quite two-faced. But the plot was good and not totally predictable, and it did keep me guessing most of the time. My only real complaint was that it seemed to end quite abruptly, but otherwise it was an enjoyable read and all in all a good book.

A Cottage by the Sea

I’m back! Sadly my reading has been a bit slow again having been at work and then being on a kids summer camp last week, but I’m back! It is now the summer holidays and I have nearly 2 months off so plenty of time to get some reading done! 😀

Last month I was quickly running out of books to read so I decided it was time for a browse on Amazon to see what other new books I could get my hands on cheaply (either new or second hand).

Having read a couple of Carole Matthew’s books already I couldn’t resist picking up some of her books, including this one: “A Cottage by the Sea”.

Grace first met Ella and Flick over 10 years ago at University. Since then they have been great friends but life gets in the way and they don’t see each other as often as they would like. When Ella invites Grace and Flick to stay with her at her cottage in Pembrokeshire for a week they both jump at the chance.

Grace is feeling more and more distant from her husband and is hoping a week away in deepest Wales will help reconnect with him… But then Flick arrives with her new boyfriend Noah.

I was gripped by the blurb of this book and when I started reading I was totally gripped from the first page. Nothing beats a book where you get lost and just want to keep reading!

The characters are all great and totally relatable. I’d be amazed if someone read this and couldn’t relate to at least one of the characters. Carole Matthews has done a brilliant job at creating great relationships between all six of the characters and it was lovely watching the characters develop through the book. OK some parts of the book were predictable, like the storyline with Ella and that with Flick and Harry but that didn’t stop me enjoying the book and I didn’t expect all of the ending!

My favourite characters had to be Grace and Noah and I think this is what Carole Matthews wants and I love all the little adventures that they had and I couldn’t help but cheer them on in my head despite Grace being married!

All in all I loved this book and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. If you love chicklit and romance books then this is one for you!

The Christmas Party

I’m currently on a mission to read 50 books in 2015 and finishing this book marks number 48. I have 2 books left to read to reach 50!

I picked up a couple of Carole Matthew’s books back in the summer on eBay but because they were both Christmas books I put off reading them until now. So after “Calling Mrs Christmas” came “The Christmas Party”.

I don’t think I’d say that “The Christmas Party” was better than “Calling Mrs Christmas” and if anything I’d say the latter was the better of the two books. The Christmas Party is set over the period of 23rd to 25th December following a select few employees of the company “Fossil Oil” in their lead up to Christmas, including their Christmas party. We mainly follow Louise Young, a relatively new employee of Fossil Oil, who after a disasterous relationship with another guy is left deep in debt with a daughter in the mix. Louise has returned home to live with her parents in an attempt to clear some of her debt that she has and having landed a job in Fossil Oil seems to make her future look a bit brighter.

Lousise is PA to Tyler Benson, the Sales director of Fossil Oil. Tyler is a sexual predator who spends time feeling up his PAs and his eyes are firmly set on Louise. However Tyler’s wife is feeling somewhat neglected due to Tyler’s commitment to his job and as soon as an old friend – Simon Conway comes back in to her life her feelings for him come back. Tyler however has been having an affair with Melissa Harvey, the wife of his boss, Lance. But Tyler is only sleeping with Melissa in order to gain information from her. Lance on the other hand is battling with a drinking problem leaving Melissa to find attention from elsewhere. On attending the work Christmas party a lot of secrets begin to surface and will Louise fall for Josh, her colleague at Fossil Oil?

The Christmas Party was an OK book. I wouldn’t say that it was brilliant because it was quite jumpy and it took me a while to familiarise myself with who was who in the book. The story revolves around Louise, Tyler, Lance, Melissa and Kirstin seeing how their love lives develop, or nosedive within the space of 48h. The characters were mostly likeable and I did’t want to stop reading at any point, but it just felt the story was lacking a bit in some ways. Anyway it was a good Christmassy book that could probably be read at any point of the year without feeling too Christmassy.

Now on to “Quidditch Through the Ages” in an attempt to get to 50 books by the end of the year.