3 Apr 2016

Month in Review / March 2016

What a fantastic reading month!  10 book read, that's quite an achievement for me.  This month there have been a few goods and a few not so goods.  To start with the not so goods, the two that I didn't particularly enjoy were Read Me Like a Book and The Loneliness of Distant Beings.  Both were ok reads for me, worth the time and effort in reading it but not stories that I would read again. 

Now onto the favourites!  There are a few here this month that are 5 star reads and I would definitely read them over and over again.  Those are The Casual Vacancy, Naked in Death and In the Dark In the Woods.  These stories were all fantastic reads and all for very different reasons.  The Casual Vacancy really surprised me with being a story about one village and the people in it this story was a lot more gripping than I thought it would be.  With Naked in Death this is part of a very large series by JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts) and I just loved following the murder story and watching it unfold.  Lastly was In the Dark In the Woods.  Now this book really did surprise me.  It is a young adult thriller style story that I thought would be quite an easy read, little did I know how gripping and suspense filled it would be!
My Reviews





SIXPENCE IN HER SHOE 

In working-class Leeds in the 1920s, Jess is starting on her journey through life. Growing up in the aftermath of the Great War, she is torn between her downtrodden father and her cantankerous, ambitious mother. After a disastrous spell as housekeeper to the local priest, she works happily in the office of her uncle's shoe factory and falls in love with her childhood sweetheart, Wilf.
But Wilf is determined to be a successful artist, and Jess can't bring herself to stand in the way of his dreams. She also faces a bigger fight: she is consumed by the desire to save her godchild Leila from an orphanage - a battle that eventually threatens to break her heart.


THE LEAVING 
Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.


MY HUSBAND'S WIFE
 It's the perfect love story.

Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She's a lawyer, he's an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.

But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too...

The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.

'Till death us do part...'


INDISRETION
A young woman's journey of discovery takes her to a world of forbidden passion, savage beauty, and revenge.

Spring, 1950. Alexandra de Falla, a half-English, half-Spanish young writer abandons her privileged but suffocating life in London and travels to Spain to be reunited with her long-estranged family.

Instead of providing the sense of belonging she yearns for, the de Fallas are driven by seething emotions, and in the grip of the wild customs and traditions of Andalucia, all of which are alien to Alexandra.

Among the strange characters and sultry heat of this country, she meets the man who awakens emotions she hardly knew existed. But their path is strewn with obstacles: dangerous rivals, unpredictable events, and inevitable indiscretions. What does Alexandra's destiny hold for her in this flamboyant land of drama and all-consuming passions, where blood is ritually poured on to the sands of sun-drenched bullfighting arenas, mysterious gypsies are embroiled in magic and revenge, and beautiful dark-eyed dancers hide their secrets behind elegant lacy fans?

"Indiscretion"is a story of love and identity, and the clash of idealsin the pursuit of happiness. But can love survive in a world where scandal and danger are never far away?

 
THE ECHOES OF LOVE
Set against the breathtaking beauty of Italy, The Echoes of Love is a passionate, heart-breaking romance to ignite the senses and rekindle your belief in the power of love. Seduction, passion and secrets... Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Venice to work in her godmother's architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone. Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can't help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them. When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia not only faces a beautiful young rival but also a sinister count and dark forces in the shadows, determined to come between them. Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo's carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?
 
BURNING EMBERS
An unforgettable passion ignited in the heart of Africa. A fragile love tormented by secrets and betrayal.

Coral Sinclair, a beautiful but naïve young photographer, learns within days of calling off her wedding that she has also lost her father. Leaving her life in England, she sails to Kenya to take up her inheritance – Mpingo, the plantation that was her childhood home.

On the voyage, Coral meets a charismatic stranger and their mystifying attraction shakes her to the core. Later she finds out his identity and is warned that the man is not to be trusted. Rafe de Monfort, owner of a nightclub and the neighbouring plantation, is not only a notorious womanizer, but also his affair with Coral’s stepmother may have contributed to her father’s death. Or so the rumours go.

As Coral is swept up in the undeniable chemistry between her and Rafe, a tentative romance blossoms in the exotic, dangerous wilderness of Africa. But when Coral delves into his past, she questions his true motives. Is the infamous lothario just after her inheritance? Or does Rafe’s secret anguish colour his every move, making him more vulnerable than Coral could ever imagine?  

 
BLACK OR WHITE
Grieving widow Susie Chester is trying to turn her life around with a little help from Peter, her gardener, who just might be her Guardian Angel - or a product of her imagination. When white feathers start to appear around the house, she feels strangely comforted and begins to rebuild her life with a renewed sense of spirituality and a deeper understanding into the mysteries of life and love. Her journey, from the depths of despair back to happiness, brings her much more than she could have hoped for. 

THE FARM AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
1939, and Will and Alice are evacuated to a granite farm in north Cornwall, perched on a windswept cliff. There they meet the farmer's daughter, Maggie, and against fields of shimmering barley and a sky that stretches forever, enjoy a childhood largely protected from the ravages of war.

But in the sweltering summer of 1943 something happens that will have tragic consequences. A small lie escalates. Over 70 years on Alice is determined to atone for her behaviour - but has she left it too late?

2014, and Maggie's granddaughter Lucy flees to the childhood home she couldn't wait to leave thirteen years earlier, marriage over; career apparently ended thanks to one terrible mistake. Can she rebuild herself and the family farm? And can she help her grandmother, plagued by a secret, to find some lasting peace?

This is a novel about identity and belonging; guilt, regret and atonement; the unrealistic expectations placed on children and the pain of coming of age. It's about small lies and dark secrets. But above all it's about a beautiful, desolate, complex place.

 
THE HOPE FAMILY CALENDER

Tom Hope is broken. Ever since his wife Laura died he hasn't been the same man, and definitely not the same father. Luckily for Tom his mother-in-law Linda is around to pick up the pieces and look after his two struggling daughters, Evie and Lola.

But Tom getting arrested on the first anniversary of his wife's death is the last straw for Linda.
In a last bid attempt to make Tom reconnect with his daughters she takes drastic action and leaves for Australia. With two fast-maturing daughters Tom has to learn how to accept his responsibilities and navigate the newly dicovered world of single fatherhood - starting immediately.

With only himself to rely on, will Tom fall back into grief or finally step up and be the father his girls need?
 





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