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Monday, 30 April 2018

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp #BookReview


When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights - long enough to scatter her mother's ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur.
But when a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub, she unexpectedly finds friendship, and perhaps a chance at love.
But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.
Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village - a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers...?
Welcome to the Village of Love. Where friendship flourishes and love blossoms...

BUYING LINKS




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Laura Kemp writes tender but hilarious romantic comedies which are unashamed love letters to the everywoman. 
Her uplifting message - based on the notion that everything is research apart from the rude bits - is 'You Don't Know How Brilliant You Are!'.
A journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Sun amongst others, she is married with a son in Cardiff, where she pretends to be a domestic revolutionary so she doesn't have to do the ironing. Runs to eat crisps and drink wine, adores her mates and loves her dog, Lego and sweary cross-stitch.
Follow the Author on Twitter @Laurajanekemp


MY REVIEW

I won this book in  a GoodReads giveaway and knew it was going to be my kind of book from the cover! Such an idyllic setting!

This was a charming and easy to read book that was a perfect escape on a rainy afternoon!

Ceri finds herself in Wales after the death of her beloved mother, in a place where she's never been before but immediately finds herself at home amongst the villagers and she finds this pace of life refreshing and comfortable. The more time she spends away from her old life, the more she finds herself and discovers there's more to life than the crazy world she lived in before.

I loved the setting and the variety of characters. There were secrets galore that were revealed along the way which made the journey Ceri faced really interesting. Loved the humour too! I would have liked more focus on the random acts of kindness as I often found that they were forgotten about and could have played a much bigger role in the story and impact on the village. But it still made for a really enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

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Sunday, 29 April 2018

#CoverReveal Wally Funk's Race To Space by Sue Nelson

Cover Reveal time is here again! And I'm extremely delighted to be taking part in sharing this one as it looks like a fascinating read!  The book is Wally Funk's Race To Space and here's more information about it before the big reveal....

 It’s the first book to cover the true story of a female pilot who led the way for women in space. She was the youngest and is one of the few surviving Mercury 13 women, as well as well as being the first female aviation safety inspector. Wally Funk’s Race for Space is being published by The Westbourne Press in Hardback, 15th October 2018, £16.99


Wally is currently starring in a Netflix documentary called Mercury 13 and a planned Amazon Prime TV series (with Jessica Chastain) on the Mercury 13.

In the early 1960s, after NASA had selected seven American men to go to space as part of its first-ever astronaut class, a researcher who worked with the agency started his own project. Dr William Randolph Lovelace, along with renowned pilot Jacqueline Cochran, picked 25 American women who had the potential to become astronauts.
Netflix's new documentary Mercury 13, tells the story of these 13 female aviators who passed the same screening as the male NASA astronauts. When the space agency found out, however, that Lovelace intended to continue testing and training the Mercury 13 women in Pensacola, Florida, the program was shut down. A congressional hearing followed, but the women never made it to space—or into NASA's ranks.
Wally is the only one of the Mercury 13 to take cosmonaut training and pursue her dream of becoming an astronaut into old age.
In 1961, when 22-year-old aviator Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk arrived at an astronaut test centre in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with ten dollars in her pocket, she was determined to become one of the first women in space. Once there, she successfully passed a series of rigorous physical and psychological tests, which included having ice cold water poured into her ears and electric shocks, before becoming one of the Mercury 13 – the collective name for the 13 American women who had passed the Women in Space Program. But just one week before she was due to enter the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled and Funk was cheated out of her rightful place in space history. A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the Mercury 13 ever flew into space. Undeterred, Wally went on to become America’s first female aviation inspector, though her dream of being an astronaut never dimmed. In Wally Funk’s Race for Space, journalist and fellow space buff Sue Nelson joins Wally, now approaching her eightieth birthday, as she prepares to make her giant leap – before it’s too late. Following their travels across the United States and Europe – taking in NASA’s mission control in Houston and Spaceport America in New Mexico,where Wally’s ride on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceplane awaits – this is a uniquely intimate and entertaining portrait of a true aviation trailblazer. 

Time for the cover!! Are you ready?!! 


Join the conversation #WallyFunk 

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The Man on the Middle Floor by Elizabeth S. Moore #BlogTour #BookReview


Lionel Shriver meets Mark Haddon in this break-out debut.

Despite living in the same three-flat house in the suburbs of London, the residents are strangers to one another. The bottom floor is home to Tam, a recent ex-cop who spends his days drowning his sorrows in whisky. On the middle floor is Nick, a young man with Asperger's who likes to stick to his schedules and routines. The top floor belongs to Karen, a doctor and researcher who has spent her life trying to understand the rising rates of autism. They have lived their lives separately, until now, when an unsolved murder and the man on the middle floor connect them all together. Told from three points of view, The Man on the Middle Floor is about disconnection in all its forms; sexual, physical, parental and emotional. It questions whether society is meeting the needs of the fast growing autistic section of society, or exacerbating it.

Thought-provoking and thrilling, The Man on the Middle Floor will leave readers talking.


Publication Date - 1st May 2018

Buying Links




About the Author


Elizabeth S. Moore has worked as a journalist since she won the Decanter Young Wine Writer of the Year at seventeen. She has written columns and articles on restaurants, politics, South Africa and all things foodie. She comes from a family that has given her a lot of writing material and is currently finishing her second book, having written the first after completing the Faber Write a Novel course and being approached by fourteen agents after reading an excerpt of her novel to industry professionals. Elizabeth lives in London with her South African husband and has three daughters and a son as well as two lazy Labradors.


Twitter - @LizzyMoore19


MY REVIEW

It is never easy to review books that are a little 'out there' in subject matter and content, but I will give it a go!!  And I know this book won't be for everyone with its' quirky nature, its often blunt approach and the things discussed - but for me I found it fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in the lives of these three fascinating and extreme characters, as their paths crossed and some rather unfortunate events follow!

It centres around a house that contains 3 flats.  In each of these flats live some complex characters - Karen lives on the top floor, Nick on the middle floor, and Tam on the ground level.  All 3 extremely different characters personality wise, but in their outlook on life they all end up being quite similar as they often feel disconnected from the world they find themselves living in.

Nick starts the story off and the book from his viewpoint is very stark. He suffers from Autism so he has his routines, things often upset him and he enjoys being alone. But he's trying to challenge himself and break free from these chains. His first job at the local hospital morgue seems to be the perfect job for him - the solitude, the routine, the cleanliness...

Tam is a police officer - well he was! He returns after time off after being injured to find they want to move him to a desk job, as his attitudes don't fit with the modern way of policing. He retreats to a world of drink and sex, and investigating what he sees going on around him... his police training comes in very handy as events unfold!

And Karen is a Doctor at the local hospital researching the rise of Autism amongst. She lives alone, preferring her work to her 3 children who are with their father. When she is called on to be 'mum' she doesn't seem to have a maternal bone in her body, and the kids know it and cannot wait to be back with their father.  She gets Nick the job at the hospital and sees him as the perfect study for her research... at what cost?


This is an often crude book but I think these characters and the situations they find themselves in need and demand that!  They have very extreme personalities which works well in getting the points across that I think the author is trying to make, about how society judges and treats different people.  I felt a number of emotions whilst reading this book - shock, empathy, revulsion to name but a few - and I love how a book can have that impact on a reader. I never knew what was just around the corner and that kept me intrigued throughout.

I'd highly recommend this book if you are looking for something just that little bit different, that is a little challenging and doesn't stop  making you think!  Can't wait to see what Elizabeth Moore writes next!!




Saturday, 28 April 2018

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - Week 16 2018


Hello!!  It's a soggy old Saturday so what better way to deal with that, than to look back at the past 7 days in my bookish world!   And it's been a week of me getting one year older...... I'm claiming to be 21 for EVER!!  There were a few bookish themed birthday presents - Harry Potter goodies are always welcomed here! - but very few book shaped presents as I think people are scared to buy me books in case I already have them! BUT there were book tokens and money in my lovely present haul so I have been treating myself to a few.. okay a lot!.... of books so I will probably do a separate post all about them in the coming week so watch out!!

So with a busy week gone by the reading has taken a hit again so once more I've only finished 2 books!  And then I've just received 2 books via the post - so at least there is balance!!

BOOKS FINISHED

Where the Light gets in by Lucy Dillon  -  5 stars

I love Lucy Dillon and this is another wonderful story!


Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver  -  4 stars

Really enjoyed this fun read!! Watch out for my Blog Tour stop in May!


BOOK POST

A couple of months ago I signed up to Alma Books and their Year of Reading Classics where you choose each month which book from their fabulous collection is sent to you! So this month I plumped for The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins! Have never read it so looking forward to starting this soon!


And then out of the blue I was sent THE CHEESEMAKER'S HOUSE by JANE CABLE, with a lovely message from the author inside.  This sounds right up my street!


Inspired by a framed will found in her dream Yorkshire house, which had been built at the request of the village cheesemaker in 1726, Jane Cable discovered the historical aspect of her novel. Set near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, The Cheesemaker’s House is a page-turner that will have readers hooked instantly.

The novel follows the life of Alice Hart, who escapes to the North Yorkshire countryside to recover after her husband runs off with his secretary. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the best of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including handsome builder Richard Wainwright and kind café owner Owen Maltby. As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he clearly isn’t there? Where – or when – does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village ‘charmer’, what exactly does that mean? 


CURRENTLY READING

The Trees by Ali Shaw

Have had this on my shelves for a while - that cover!! - but have just downloaded the audio version from the Borrowbox app, and am really enjoying it so far!


There came an elastic aftershock of creaks and groans and then, softly softly, a chinking shower of rubbled cement. Leaves calmed and trunks stood serene. Where, not a minute before, there had been a suburb, there was now only woodland standing amid ruins…

There is no warning. No chance to prepare.

They arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest. Buildings are destroyed. Broken bodies, still wrapped in tattered bed linen, hang among the twitching leaves.

Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realises that no help is coming, he ventures out into this unrecognisable world. Michelle, his wife, is across the sea in Ireland and he has no way of knowing whether the trees have come for her too. 

Then Adrien meets green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb. Together, they set out to find Hannah’s forester brother, to reunite Adrien with his wife – and to discover just how deep the forest goes.

Their journey will take them to a place of terrible beauty and violence, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness inside themselves.

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp

A fun, easy read book!

When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights - long enough to scatter her mother's ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur.

But when a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub, she unexpectedly finds friendship, and perhaps a chance at love.

But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.

Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village - a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers...?


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What's been keeping you turning the pages this week?! Hope it's been a good bookish week and here's to a good bookish weekend and week to come!!






Friday, 27 April 2018

Where The Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon #bookreview


‘You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn’t work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That’s where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.’

It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna’s learned one thing from Betty it’s that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you’re panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town’s gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty’s anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her.

Lorna’s come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It’s where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It’s not exactly a fresh start.

But as Lorna – and the little dog – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn’t have predicted the light it lets into her world . . .

An inspiring, life-enhancing novel that will make you see your life afresh . . . Fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Diamond and Veronica Henry will love it.

BUYING LINKS





MY REVIEW


Such a wonderful book!!! I love reading books from Lucy Dillon as she always creates such warm characters who you immediately connect with, and this story follows Lorna as she goes back to where she has some bad memories, but just taking that brave step to face them head on and start a new project just brings out the best in her - and changes the life of those around her too!

We first meet Lorna as she is volunteering at a hospice where she spends time with those in the final stages of life, and you instantly see how compassionate she is, and how she acquires the little dog Rudy!

Lorna only has her sister Jess left around as they lost their parents years ago, and while Jess has a husband and family, Lorna is left feeling a little lost and is looking for a new direction in which to take her life. And that is when moving back to Longhampton to buy the failing art gallery becomes her plan!

As soon as she arrives she finds many faces from her past that evoke a number of feelings, no more so than when she finds Sam is back in the area - she used to have a major crush on him during her teenage years and she finds those feelings don't seem to have gone away. Is he still the same kind of character that she remembers though?!

The friendship and bond Lorna then builds up with Joyce is a wonderful and touching part of this story. Joyce is an artist, but a reclusive one and is happy to live her life on her own, with her dog Bernard, and has developed a hatred of her social worker! But she sees something in Lorna that resonates with her and is quick to trust her, first with walking Bernard for her and then being more open to sharing her artwork to help the gallery.

There are a wide range of topics throughout this book - memories, family secrets, yarnbombing, a community pulling together, facing your fears - and I found myself unable to put the book down at times as I became so wrapped up in the characters and the situations they found themselves in! There were tears too!!

A fabulous read!!


My thanks to the author and publisher for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

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Thursday, 26 April 2018

#CoverReveal One Summer Weekend by Juliet Archer



COVER REVEAL

It's that time again!! I get the honour of sharing yet another stunner of a cover with you from the fabulous folk at Ruby Fiction!

Here's a little bit more information about the book for you all before the big reveal....


One summer weekend can change everything …  
Alicia Marlowe’s life as an executive coach is well under control – until she meets her new client, Jack Smith. Jack’s reputation precedes him and Alicia knows immediately that he spells trouble. Not least because he reminds her of someone else – a man who broke her heart and made her resolve never to lower her guard again. 
Taking Jack on as a client is a risk, but one that Alicia decides to take for the good of her career. As long as she keeps him in his place, she might just make it through unscathed. But Jack has other ideas – including a ‘business’ trip to the Lake District. One summer weekend with him is all it takes to put Alicia’s carefully organised world in a spin … 


One Summer Weekend is published on 19th June by Ruby Fiction and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.  

So here is your first look at the beautiful cover......



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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The Kindness of Strangers by Julie Newman #BookReview



Deception abounds in Julie Newman's breath-taking new novel. Widow Helen is desperate for a perfect family life, and will do everything she can to get what she wants. A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict Martin is adrift and seemingly without hope - can he ever win back his estranged family? Pregnant teenager Charley is striking out on her own to create a new life for her unborn child, but her mother Lizzie has other ideas. When three seemingly disparate lives connect, the past and the present collide to reveal secrets, lies and how far people are willing to go to hide the truth. Following the gripping and controversial Beware the Cuckoo, Julie Newman's thrilling new novel lifts the lid on the dark past that haunts a seemingly happy household.

Publisher - Urbane Publications


BUYING LINKS

Amazon UK  £8.46





MY REVIEW

Prepare to be shocked!! I know I was!! This book will take you on a much different journey than where you thought it would take you! Believe me!! And that is such a brilliant thing to happen while you're reading!  I had absolutely no clue of what was going to happen and that is probably why I enjoyed reading this so much!

It's the story of 3 strangers and how their paths cross and their lives connect. And they're all such different characters that the author can explore so many different subjects with them and the challenges that they face.

In Part One we get to meet the main characters - Helen is a widow and dealing with the loss of her beloved husband. Through donating her husbands' clothes to a nearby charity shop, she meets Audrey who works in there and seems to have a knack of finding those in need of help.  Audrey is one of the good guys in the world and is always willing to help those in need and becomes a much needed friend to Helen who is struggling.  And when Helen then comes across some secrets from her husbands past she is completely thrown and all she thought she knew goes out the window.  But that does give her a new focus in life....

Martin is an ex solider and  suffering from PTSD.  His home life has suffered and is a mess and he's living on the street looking for a way back to his ex and their children.   He ends up with a social worker who is there to help him find work and a new future and he finds himself at the charity shop where Audrey works looking for some clothes.

Charley is a teenager who finds herself pregnant.  Her mum is not the best role model and seems to find her daughter an irritation and throws her daughter out when Charley wants to keep the baby. She too finds herself at the charity shop and the life of her and her baby are set to change. 

The way the chapters are set out really helps each character get under your skin as you learn more about them and helps you connect more to the positions they find themselves in.  Fate works in mysterious ways so they say, and no more so than in this book!

 Part Two of the book is really about how the characters face up to the situations that life has dealt them and also gives you a chance to see more of Audrey and the role she plays in these characters lives.  It also features a much darker side to the story and I loved the change in atmosphere and tempo!  I can't say much more than that but it really took my breath away as things evolved and made for such  a memorable read!!! Prepare for the unexpected!!

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Monday, 23 April 2018

The Magic of Ramblings by Kate Field #bookreview


Running away can be the answer if you run to the right place…

When Cassie accepts a job as companion to an old lady in a remote Lancashire village, she hopes for a quiet life where she can forget herself, her past and most especially men. The last thing she wants is to be drawn into saving a community that seems determined to take her to its heart – and to resuscitate hers…

Frances has lived a reclusive life at Ramblings, a Victorian Gothic mansion, for over thirty years and now Barney is hiding away there, forging a new life after his medical career ended in scandal. He doesn’t trust the mysterious woman who comes to live with his rich aunt, especially when she starts to steal Frances’ affection – and maybe his own too…

Publisher - Accent Press

Buying Links






Follow the author on Twitter - @katehaswords


MY REVIEW

A delight to read from start to finish!! Any book set in a large country house always grabs my attention, and when you add a cast of such fascinating characters then it was no wonder that I raced through this and could have easily read it in one sitting!

Cassie appears out of nowhere in the quiet village of Ribblemill and accepts the position of companion to the wonderfully feisty Frances. You understand that Cassie has run away from something, but she's extremely reluctant to share any details of her past with her new employee or anyone she meets. Frances' family aren't too pleased about her arrival either, especially Barney who has always been there to help his Aunt and is a little put out that this stranger has become so close to his rich aunt, which explains his frosty attitude towards Cassie.

Despite her reluctance to share, Cassie soon finds herself under the spell of The Ramblings and the village and finds herself becoming more confident and settled in her life and gets more involved with village life especially when disaster strikes and the community has to pull together. Barney also plays a major part in her moving forward, and he has such an interesting back story too.

I adored the characters created in this book and it all felt so magical without becoming too cliched or over the top! Excited to read more by this author in the future!

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Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway



Super excited to be the latest stop on this fabulous blog tour, hosted by Rachels Random Resoures, to share the love for this book that is filled with romance, attitude and fun! As well as my review, there's always a giveaway... now that got your attention didn't it?!!!! 

Praise for Nicola May’s books 

‘This book will twang your funny bone & your heartstrings’ – Milly Johnson 
‘A fun and flighty read’ the Sun 
‘A funny and fast-paced romp – thoroughly enjoyable!’  WOMAN Magazine 
* 
Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy.  While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he or she has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.  
     Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed - and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail? 
     There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.  
With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light. 
Purchase from –  





About Nicola May 


 
Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick. 
 
Follow Nicola May 
Website - www.nicolamay.com 

Giveaway – Win x 3 Paperback copies of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Open Internationally) 
What are you waiting for?!  Click on the link below for your chance to win a copy!!

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize. 


MY REVIEW


This is a chick lit book with attitude! The main character Rosa is not your normal kind of 'heroine' - she's had an extremely tough upbringing`and finds herself unable to settle and very happy to pick fights with those who she sees as treating her badly.

Then out of nowhere she is contacted to say she has inherited a corner shop in a place she's never visited or even heard of in Devon! And it couldn't have come at a better time as she's just walked out on yet another job so she has nothing to lose in packing up all her things - and Hot her loyal sausage dog! - and heading to Devon to find out more about this shop, the area and why, and more importantly who, has left her this shop and flat.

She soon finds she's at the centre of attention in this quaint tourist village, something she isn't used to, but soon finds some trustworthy new friends, and some who are not so nice! Her friend Josh, who she lived with is busy with his life, but is always there for her on the phone or for a visit to help her settle in - he's her voice of reason when she wonders where her life is going and what she should do.

As she clears up the flat that has laid empty for so long, she uncovers quite a few secrets and as she settles down to village life she starts to relish life as a shop owner and the new challenges that this brings her way. With all the goings on, she finds herself in anything but a quiet and sleepy tourist destination!

I really loved the character of Rosa - she's rough round the edges but extremely likeable - as is Hot her faithful companion! I also loved the character of Mary who she befriends and how they are there for each other when needed.

I found this to be an enjoyable, fun, edgy and not your normal light and fluffy chick lit read - more please!!!


☀☀☀☀☀