Book Review: Rainbows End in Ferry Lane Market by Nicola May #rainbowsendinferrylanemarket @nicolamay1 @rararesources @HodderBooks

Synopsis

Book Three in bestselling sensation Nicola May’s gorgeous new series – catch up with Book One, WELCOME TO FERRY LANE MARKET, and Book Two, STARRY SKIES IN FERRY LANE MARKET, now!

39-year-old Glanna Pascoe – also known as ‘the Rainbow Painter’ – runs the Hartmouth Gallery in Ferry Lane Market in Cornwall. She is just getting her head and broken heart around being single, childless, and sober when Cupid flies in, shooting arrows all over the place.

Meeting the mysterious and fascinating Isaac Benson, famous local artist, and recluse, allows Glanna’s disillusioned heart and attitude to soften, and she begins to learn more about herself than she ever thought possible. Confused by her growing feelings for Isaac, Glanna throws herself into organising a life-drawing class at her gallery, using both male and female nudes – and setting local tongues wagging.

A theft from her gallery and the return of ex-love Oliver Trueman cause Glanna to wonder if a pot of gold will be appearing at the end of her rainbow. And will it bring her the happiness, she has sought for so long?

Purchase Links
UK – – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rainbows-End-Ferry-Lane-Market-ebook/dp/B09LLLD89V
US – https://www.amazon.com/Rainbows-End-Ferry-Lane-Market-ebook/dp/B09LLLD89V

My Review

Glanna is the owner of Hartmouth Gallery in Ferry Lane Market and is an artist herself. In Hartmouth Gallery you’ll find pictures created by other artist but Glanna too. Glanna found herself the owner of the Gallery after she sabotaged her relationship with her long term boyfriend Oliver because he wanted to have children and she didn’t. However, Glanna does like children but doesn’t understand the reason why she doesn’t want children of her own and has mixed feelings on the subject. When an artist that Glanna is meant to collaborate with lets her down her path crosses with the famous and mysterious artist Isaac Benson. When a painting that Isaac lends Glanna for the Gallery goes missing and fate brings Oliver back into Glanna’s life again, Glanna is forced to take stock of her life and some difficult subjects.

There’s something about the Ferry Lane Market series that I truly love. Like the other books in the series I loved the storyline. It was absorbing, heart-warming with relatable characters at the heart of the story. So to know that this was the last book in the trilogy made me a little sad as I would have happily carried on reading books in this series until the end of time. The Ferry Lane Market series has definitely become a comfort read for me and a place I look forward to visiting with the turn of each page.

It was nice to meet a completely new character in Glanna but also to catch up with established characters that have already appeared in Ferry Lane Market. One of my favourite things about Glanna is the fact that she’s just obsessed with rainbows because I am too. Every time she sees a rainbow she’d take a picture of it on her phone and then would try and replicate/incorporate it into her art. What I also liked about Glanna as a character is that she doesn’t try to be perfect. She owns her flaws and learns from her past. She’s not had it easy even though she comes from quite a privileged background. She’s made some big mistakes, some of which were very serious and had issues with alcohol but she’s overcome these. So although Glanna sees her mistakes as character flaws and that she’s wasted her life because of alcohol and a misspent youth it’s those same things that are her strength and make her into the person she is today.

Although this is a story about Glanna finding herself there is also a second chance romance storyline running parallel to the main storyline. As soon as I was introduced to Oliver, how he met Glanna and their interactions it was clear that they were meant to be together. The only subject that tore them apart is the subject of children. The more Glanna explores the reason for not wanting children she finds herself on a journey questioning the reason behind her decision but also that it is tied to her own relationship with her mother.

The Ferry Lane Market series is a trilogy that I would highly recommend and is one of my favourite series. The books can be read as standalones but I would recommend reading all the books because it’s hard not to fall in love with Ferry Lane Market and its inhabitants.

Author Bio

Nicola May writes ‘chick lit with a kick’ and is the internationally bestselling author of
eleven romantic comedies. All have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK across all genres in January 2019 and March 2020 respectively. It was also the second best-selling eBook of 2019 in the UK. Nicola’s books have also been sold in many languages.

Social Media Links – @nicolamay1 @hodderbooks – Twitter
@author_nicola @hodderbooks Instagram

Spotlight: Riding Pillion With George Clooney and other stories by Geraldine Ryan @GeraldineRyan @rararesources

Synopsis

Twelve moving short stories inspired by the everyday lives of women
– A single woman on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Italian lakes still dreams of adventure. Can she find it closer to home?
– A grieving widow finds comfort in the company of a stray cat that bears striking similarities to her dead husband.
-An estranged daughter confronts an unspeakable tragedy from her past as she attempts to reconcile with her long-lost family.

Geraldine Ryan is a prolific short-story writer whose work has appeared in Woman’s Weekly and Take a Break’s Fiction Feast magazines. The women in this, her first published anthology, may be at different stages of life but all of them are experiencing the ground shifting beneath their feet. Their tales of love, longing and redemption will touch your heart and bring a smile to your face.

Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Riding-Pillion-George-Clooney-Stories-ebook/dp/B09WLRM8PP/
US – https://www.amazon.com/Riding-Pillion-George-Clooney-Stories-ebook/dp/B09WLRM8PP/

Author Bio

Geraldine Ryan is a proud Northerner who has spent most of her life in Cambridge – the one with the punts. She holds a degree in Scandinavian Studies but these days the only use she puts it to is to identify which language is being spoken among the characters of whatever Scandi drama is currently showing on TV. She worked as a teacher of English and of English as a second or foreign language for many years, in combination with rearing her four children, all of whom are now grown up responsible citizens. Her first published story appeared in My Weekly in 1993. Since then her stories have appeared in Take-a-Break, Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly as well as in women’s magazines abroad. She has also written 2 young adult novels- ‘Model Behaviour’ (published by Scholastic) and ‘The Lies and Loves of Finn’ (Channel 4 Books.) This anthology of previously published short stories will be, she hopes, only the first of several.

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/GeraldineRyan

Book Review: You Had Me At Halloumi by Ginger Jones #youhadmeathalloumi @GingerJ53270983 @ZaffreBooks @rararesources

Synopsis

When it comes to love, its feta late than never Freya Butterly has always dreamed of being a Head Chef but despite running every service at the Mediterranean restaurant, she still doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. Craving adventure and a real taste of the Mediterranean, Freya takes matters into her own hands, ditching both her job and unsympathetic boyfriend and packing her bags for sunny Cyprus in pursuit of the prestigious Golden Spoon culinary award.

As one of the seven competitors, Freya is determined to rediscover her passion for food and clinch the prize, but what she doesn’t expect to discover is Xanthos. As gorgeous as he is charming – he’s quite the dish – and Freya is instantly attracted to him, but this trip was about Cypriot cuisine, not romance and she knows she must not let Xanthos distract her from the competition.

But if she walks away, will Freya spend the rest of her life wondering What If? Surely, it’s feta late than never . . .

Purchase Links
https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Had-Me-at-Halloumi/dp/1838778462
https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/you-had-me-at-halloumi/ginger-
jones/paperback/9781838778460.html

My Review

Freya Butterly is a chef working in a restaurant. She spends her time making and serving food that doesn’t show or reflect her true cooking talents. Freya isn’t appreciated by her employer nor is she given the opportunity to shine in her role. So Freya decides to leave her boyfriend Charlie and her job for Cyprus to take part in a cooking competition in the hope she can win the Golden Spoon culinary award. When Freya arrives in Cyprus it’s not only the competition that captures her attention but also Xanthos. Will Freya win the Golden Spoon? Will Xanthos distract Freya from the cooking competition?

As soon as I took this book out of its packaging and saw the front cover, I smiled. This to me was a sign that I was going to love this book. The cover is vibrant, eye catching and made me wish I was in Cyprus. I can honestly say I loved everything about this book from the storyline to the characters. The storyline was written in such a humorous way that I was in fits of giggles from the start. One of the funniest scenes had to be at the very start when Freya is trying to spice up her relationship with Charlie and instead ends up making a mess and setting her hair on fire. I laughed so much I cried. I loved the cooking tournament aspect of the story and the detailed descriptions of the recipes being prepared. Freya is one of seven contestants and when the stakes are as high so starts the treachery and sabotage from the other contestants. It was difficult at times to figure out which contestant was Freya’s friend or her competition as the contestants were brilliant in hiding their true intentions. As a character I loved Freya and wanted her to succeed from the outset. She is a likeable character, who is funny and charming. Despite these characteristics Freya lacks confidence in not only who she is but her cooking capabilities. She doubts her skills compared to that of the other contestants yet she is on an equal footing with them if not their superior. As Freya starts to have faith in herself and her cooking abilities she becomes more confident. Lastly Freya’s famous cheesecake sounded absolutely amazing.

A book that will have you laughing out loud, fill you with warmth and have you cheering on the main character.

Author Bio

Ginger Jones is a fiery redhead with a love for chocolate, spicy food and swimming al fresco. She collects chintzy china teacups, drinks loose leaf Darjeeling and loves fifties fashion. Most of her writing time is spent in the company of Lulu, her schnoodle who has helped and hindered the creation of You had me at Halloumi and What the Focaccia? in equal measure.

Ginger loves comic writing. Her influences are Caitlin Moran, Helen Fielding and Nora Ephron. Having previously written for the stage, she finds the live buzz of theatre exhilarating and enjoys nothing more than finding fringe venues she never knew existed.

She and Lulu look forward to penning many more novels together.

Social Media Links
Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/redhotscribbler/ // https://www.instagram.com/zaffrebooks/
Twitter
https://twitter.com/GingerJ53270983 // https://twitter.com/ZaffreBooks

Book Review: Welcome To Your Life by Bethany Rutter #WelcomeToYourLife @bethanyrutter @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours

Synopsis

52 weeks.
52 dates.
52 chances to find love.

Serena Mills should be at her wedding.
Instead, she’s eating an ice cream sundae and drinking an obscenely large glass of wine in a Harvester off the M25.

Everyone thinks she’s gone mad. She’s jilted the man everyone told her she was ‘so lucky’ to find. But Serena wants to find love. A love she deserves – not one she should just feel grateful for.

So, she escapes to the big city and sets herself a challenge: 52 weeks. 52 dates. 52 chances to find love. It should be easy, right?

My Review

Serena has been with her fiancée Alistair for 10 years. On the morning of their wedding Serena comes to the realisation that she can’t marry him and that he isn’t the one for her. So Serena breaks off her relationship, moves to London and starts to live with her friend Lola. Lola encourages Serena to download a dating app and create a profile. As Serena enters the dating world she quickly realises that the dates and suitors aren’t what she imagined and that maybe the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Will Serena find the love she’s been longing for.

This was one book I was looking forward to hearing as soon as I read the synopsis and I wasn’t disappointed. The storyline was brilliant and the writing style was full of humour and emotion. I really liked Serena as a character as I found her to be very relatable. Serena is very brave to make the last minute decision to leave her fiancée as this was a big and life changing step. I loved how she made her own outfits from scratch. Nicole is a very positive influence on Serena and to some extent makes Serena look at herself and her life differently. Nicole is also plus size like Serena but Nicole is happy, confident and content with who she is whereas to some extent Serena is still struggling. Serena wishes she was more like her. Nicole’s influence and body positively does help to make Serena look at her own body differently and realise that people aren’t always looking at her body but are too preoccupied with their own issues.

This is Serena’s journey to finding out who she is, accepting who she is and finding the love that she deserves.

A story full of emotion and humour.

Author Bio

Bethany Rutter is a writer, podcaster and plus-sized influencer. Her adult debut, Welcome To Your Life, came to life through conversations with her friends over drinks in London. Swapping stories of toe-curling online dates, workplace harassment, new crushes, fashion discoveries and workout classes, she wanted to write a heroine who turns her life upside-down just ahead of her thirtieth birthday and is plunged into the wonderful chaos of contemporary urban life.

In her words: ‘My heroine Serena Mills makes huge decisions. She wants
things for herself, she has Big Feelings, she desires people and is desired in
return. And… she’s fat. Of course, so much about her story has little or nothing to do with her body, and I hope Welcome To Your Life resonates with you, whatever your body looks like and whatever you feel towards it. This is just one story that I wanted to tell, where a fat girl gets to be the protagonist of her own story, rather than a silly footnote in someone else’s

Welcome To Your Life is dedicated to ‘anyone who’s ever held themselves back’ and encourages us all to shake off our insecurities and wholeheartedly embrace everything that life has to offer.

Cover Reveal: Just One Day – Spring by Susan Buchanan @Susan_Buchanan @rararesources

Synopsis

Mum-of-three Louisa thought she only had her never-ending to-do list to worry about, but the arrival of a ghost from the recent past puts her in an untenable position. Can she navigate the difficult situation she’s in without their friendship becoming common knowledge or will it cause long-term damage to her marriage?

When a family member begins to suspect there’s more to her relationship with the new sous-chef than meets the eye, Louisa needs to think on her feet or she’ll dig herself into a deeper hole. But the cost of keeping her secret, not only from her husband, comes at a high price, one which tugs at her conscience.

With everyday niggles already causing a further rift between Louisa and husband Ronnie, will she manage to keep her family on track whilst her life spirals out of control? And when tragedy strikes, will Ronnie step up when she needs him most?

For fans of Fiona Gibson, Holly Martin and Jill Mansell.

Pre-order Link – books2read.com/u/4XDkre

Publication Date: 17th May 2022

Author Bio

Susan Buchanan lives in Scotland with her husband, their two young children and a crazy Labrador called Benji. She has been reading since the age of four and had to get an adult library pass early as she had read the entire children’s section by the age of ten. 

Susan writes contemporary fiction, often set in Scotland, usually featuring travel, food or Christmas. When not working, writing, or caring for her two delightful cherubs, Susan loves reading (obviously), the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!

Social Media Links – Website – www.susanbuchananauthor.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Susan_Buchanan

Facebook – www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/AuthorSusanBuchanan/

Book Review: Memphis by Tara M Stringfellow #memphisbook @stringfellowtm @johnmurrays

Synopsis

Joan can’t change her family’s past.
But she can create her future.

Joan was only a child the last time she visited Memphis. She doesn’t remember the bustle of Beale Street on a summer’s night. She doesn’t know she’s as likely to hear a gunshot ring out as the sound of children playing. How the smell of honeysuckle is almost overwhelming as she climbs the porch steps to the house where her mother grew up. But when the front door opens, she does remember Derek.

This house full of history is home to the women of the North family. They are no strangers to adversity; resilience runs in their blood. Fifty years ago, Hazel’s husband was lynched by his all-white police squad, yet she made a life for herself and her daughters in the majestic house he built for them. August lives there still, running a salon where the neighbourhood women gather. And now this house is the only place Joan has left. It is in sketching portraits of the women in her life, her aunt and her mother, the women who come to have their hair done, the women who come to chat and gossip, that Joan begins laughing again, begins living.

Memphis is a celebration of the enduring strength of female bonds, of what we pass down, from mother to daughter. Epic in scope yet intimate in detail, it is a vivid portrait of three generations of a Southern black family, as well as an ode to the city they call home.

My Review

Memphis is the story of the three generations of women from the North Family. We are introduced to Hazel’s story which starts in the 1930’s and how she met her husband Myron. A generation later we are introduced to Hazel’s daughter’s Miriam and August. Miriam has left her abusive husband and together with her two daughters Joan and Mya have returned to Memphis to seek refuge. Miriam’s sister August is still living in the family home with her son Derek as seeks to help Miriam. Finally, we are introduced to Joan, Mya and Derek the third generation. As the North Family come together they will be forced to face events of the past and present in order to move forward.

This was a thoroughly refreshing read and I really enjoyed the storyline. The story is told from multiple perspectives so the reader gets to hear the voice of each character and what each character experienced over time. At no point did the story feel disjointed. The chapters were short so I found myself reading ahead very quickly. The writing was very immersive and powerful. The one characteristic that the North women share is definitely strength. Each one has been through or been subject to a traumatic event yet they don’t give up, they learn from what has happened to move forward and keep the family together.

The book also touches on themes such as domestic violence, grief and PTSD which were dealt with in a very sensitive way by the author. One of my favourite things about the story was that the way the characters were written they felt very real.

A fascinating read!

Author Bio

Poet, former attorney, Northwestern University MFA graduate, and semifinalist for the Fulbright Fellowship, Tara M Stringfellow has written for Collective Unrest, Minerva Rising, Jet Fuel Review, Women Arts Quarterly Journal and Apogee Journal, among other publications. After having lived in Okinawa, Ghana, Chicago, Cuba, Spain, Italy, and Washington, D.C., she moved back home to Memphis, where she sits on her porch swing with her hound, Huckleberry, every evening, listening to records and chatting with neighbours.

Book Review: Sunny by Sukh Ojla #sunny @sukhojla @HodderBooks @Hodder_Studio

Synopsis

This actually is a love story, just not the one Sunny was looking for . . .

Sunny is the queen of living a double life. To her friends, she’s the entertaining, eternally upbeat, single one, always on hand to share hilarious and horrifying date stories. But while they’re all settling down with long-term partners and mortgages, Sunny is back in her childhood bedroom at thirty, playing the role of the perfect daughter. She spends her time watching the Sikh channel, making saag and samosey with her mum, hiding gins-in-a-tin in her underwear drawer and sneaking home in the middle of the night after dates, trying but failing to find ‘the one’.

She juggles both lives perfectly . . . on the outside, at least. But when her mum sees a guy dropping Sunny home one evening, Sunny’s life gets a little complicated. Now her mum wants to know about the life she’s hidden from her for so long.

Sunny is well versed in lying to her friends, her family, and, above all, herself. But how long can she keep it up for? Or is it finally time to start being honest?

My Review

Meet Sunny, the funniest and most relatable character I’ve ever met. After being made redundant from her previous job, Sunny finds herself in her thirties living back at home with her parents. Sunny is living a double life. To her friends who are all settling down, Sunny is the epitome of singledom and the life of the party. But all Sunny wants to do is settle down but finds herself moving from one dating disaster to the next. At home Sunny is trying to be the perfect daughter, hides that she is going out with her friends or going out on dates. When Sunny is seen being dropped off home by a male work colleague Sunny’s mum starts asking more questions about where she’s been and who she’s been with. As Sunny’s two lives collide is it time to be honest and tell the truth about how she is feeling.

This has become hands down one of my favourite books of the year. I loved everything about this book from the storyline, to the character of Sunny to the writing style. Everything about this book was just perfect. The reason this is one of my favourite books is because it was so relatable to me growing up as a female from an Indian background. I could relate to everything Sunny was going through; from the continuous questions from the nosey aunties, twitchy curtains from family members who live nearby to the never ending questions asking about your age and why you’re still single. Anyone can read this book and relate to Sunny in one way or another. The author has done a fantastic job in raising some of the issues faced by people of Indian/Asian heritage which include the idea that there’s a set time to get married, you’re always being watched and talked about, racism, people not understanding a different culture or even trying to educate themselves.

This story also perfectly highlights how you can outgrow your friends because you are different or your thought processes change as you grow older. This is definitely the case when it comes to Sunny and her friend’s circle who call themselves friends but don’t appreciate or even try to understand what Sunny is going through. So to see Sunny finally stand up for herself was pretty awesome. But Sunny was never truly alone as she had her friend Natalie who is always there for Sunny. The reason I loved this book and why it left a lasting impression on me is that it was an honest portrayal of how there is this template in Indian culture and if you don’t fit into that template you’re considered an outsider. Sunny proves that you don’t need to fit into a template to be accepted just be you’re most authentic self and that’s something that I truly respect about Sunny.

This is the author’s debut novel and she has done a truly amazing job. It is a book I will be rereading and recommending to anyone that will listen. By the end of the book I felt like I’d been on Sunny’s journey with her. I laughed and cried with Sunny in equal parts and when I turned the last page Sunny stayed with me and I saw a lot of me in her. What I took away from the story is that sometimes we all need to be a bit braver, tackle those difficult subjects head one and be more like Sunny. I truly hope that the author writes a sequel and that we get to catch up again with Sunny in the future.

Thank you Sukh Ojla for sharing Sunny with the world.

Author Bio

Sukh Ojla is a comedian, actor and writer. Her first play Pyar Actually toured nationwide in 2017 and 2018. She has performed on Jonathan Ross’s Comedy Club, BBC2’s Big Asian Stand Up Show and across the BBC Asian Network. She has appeared on Mock The Week (BBC) and Sorry I Didn’t Know (ITV). In 2019, she took her debut solo show For Sukh’s Sake to Edinburgh, which received rave reviews. She is currently on a nationwide tour with her new show Life Sukhs. As an actor, Sukh recently appeared in Bridgerton (Netflix),The End of the F**king World (Channel 4), Feel Good (Channel 4) and as a regular role in GameFace (Channel 4) and Class Dismissed (CBBC) and appeared in feature film Victoria and Abdul. Sunny is her debut novel.

Book Review: Sign of the Times by Susan Buchanan #signofthetimes @Susan_Buchanan @rararesources

Synopsis

Sagittarius – Travel writer Holly heads to Tuscany to research her next book, but when she meets Dario, she knows she’s in trouble. Can she resist temptation? And what do her mixed feelings mean for her future with her fiancé?
Gemini – Player Lucy likes to keep things interesting and has no qualms about being unfaithful to her long-term boyfriend. A cardiology conference to Switzerland changes Lucy, perhaps forever. Has she met her match, and is this feeling love?
Holly is the one who links the twelve signs. Are you ready to meet them all?
A tale of love, family, friendship and the lengths we go to in pursuit of our dreams.

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/u/baGXYP

My Review

This is the story of 12 people who are all connected whether this be a connection to another character or to an event that takes place.

Holly is a famous author of travel books. On a trip to Italy her car breaks down and she meets handsome Dario. Quickly Holly finds her feelings torn between her fiancée Tom and Dario. Tom is missing Holly, when he stumbles across an online forum and meets someone. He starts to think about this person constantly and then they meet up in real life. Maggie, Holly’s friend, is an older university student and an activist. She has never got over not being able to have children. Maggie was happy with her career as a teacher until an incident abruptly ended her teaching career. Jennifer is Maggie’s friend and a full time carer for her ill mother. When she goes on a camping trip and meets Ben will sparks fly between the two of them? Ben works at a camping store and is a volunteer member of mountain rescue. He was married to Kathryn before she unexpectedly ended their marriage. Oscar, Ben’s brother in law, is an estate agent living in the shadow of his successful wife until he learns a secret she’s been keeping from him. Lucy, Holly’s sister, is a well-known cardiologist who makes a decision that will affect her career. Carl, Lucy’s boyfriend is a restaurateur/chef who is very much in love with Lucy but is his love reciprocated. After a tragedy, Maria loses her partner and finds herself a single mother of two. In addition to looking after her children she is also tasked with organising Tom and Holly’s upcoming wedding. Antonia manages a department in a call centre until she is told that her employer is downsizing and cuts will be made across the organisation. Jack is a criminal lawyer, married to Antonia and Oscar’s friend. He is a workaholic who gives his all to his cases but then he is confronted with a case that hits a bit too close to home. Czeslawa’s daughter is friends with Maria’s son. Originally from Poland Maria is trying to build a new life with her husband and daughter.

As someone who has a fascination with astrology as soon as I read the blur of this book I couldn’t wait to read it and it didn’t disappoint. Initially I was a little worried due to the number characters in the book but as I started to read I found that it was easy to keep a track of each character as they are very individual from each other. The book is split into sections with each character being given their own dedicated chapter. Before their chapter starts the heading of that chapter identifies their star sign and its characteristics which matched perfectly with each character. It is clear that the author has one a lot of research into each of the star signs as the characters represent them perfectly. As all the characters are connected the story did not feel disjointed and by the end of the story all the different character stories were pulled together into a satisfactory conclusion for all the characters.

A fascinating read that that explores relationships, families and friendships.

Author Bio

Susan Buchanan lives in Scotland with her husband, their two young children and
a crazy Labrador called Benji. She has been reading since the age of four and had to get an adult library pass early as she had read the entire children’s section by the age of ten.
Susan writes contemporary fiction, often set in Scotland, usually featuring travel, food or
Christmas. When not working, writing, or caring for her two delightful cherubs, Susan loves reading (obviously), the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!
Social Media Links – Twitter –https://twitter.com/Susan_Buchanan
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/AuthorSusanBuchanan/
Website – http://www.susanbuchananauthor.com

Book Review: After The Rain by Lucy Dillon #AfterTheRain @lucy_dillon @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

Synopsis

After the storm it’s time for a fresh start . . .

First, the clouds…
Tara Hunter is a therapist on a mission to restore Longhampton’s community spirit after company, Tara’s own life is crumbling.

Then the storm…
On top of everything, Tara’s father – last seen as he walked out on her when she was ten years old – is suddenly back, with a surprising offer that could change everything.

And after the rain…
Dr David Dalloway is Longhampton Wellness Centre’s new star counsellor. He’s charming, caring and has a knack for reading people’s minds – which is the last thing Tara needs right now. Will having David and her dad around make for a bigger storm on the horizon? Or is this Tara’s chance for a fresh start?

My Review

When the book starts it is Halloween and Tara is getting ready to go trick or treating after dressing her dog Branston up as a Lion. From the first page the Hunter family appear to be the perfect family, but on this same evening Tara’s father walks out on them which is something she never gets over. Fast forward to the present day, Tara now an adult is a therapist helping the community of Littlehampton recover after a major flood. As if that wasn’t an epic task Tara is also in an on/off relationship with her boyfriend Phil and then her dad makes a sudden reappearance in her life. How will Tara feel when she sees her father again?

The storyline was unique and very enjoyable. I enjoyed how that the storyline is not only centred on Tara, but also on the community she is helping recover from the flood. Tara as a therapist always puts others and her work first, sometimes to her own detriment. From the outset Tara seems quite lonely. Her mother has passed, she is estranged from her father, her brother lives abroad and she doesn’t know where she stands with Phil. The only meaningful relationship she appears to have is with her cat that is until she starts to spend time with David, another therapist at the same practice and starts to detangle the issues in her life and take on the same advice that she might give to her clients. It’s when Tara starts to interact more with David that she starts to express how she is truly feeling and unearthing those feelings that she has been trying to keep buried. One of my favourite aspects of the book was the cake of the week with the surprise mystery ingredient which sounded interesting if not a little gross.

A story about relationships, forgiveness and putting yourself first.

Author Bio

Sunday Times bestselling author Lucy Dillon grew up in Cumbria and read English at
Cambridge, then read a lot of magazines as a press assistant in London, then read other people’s manuscripts as a junior fiction editor. She now lives in a village outside Hereford with a Border terrier, an otterhound and her husband.

Lucy won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Contemporary Romantic Novel prize in 2015 for A HUNDRED PIECES OF ME, and the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2010 for LOST DOGS AND LONELY HEARTS. You can find her on Twitter (@lucy_dillon) and Instagram (@lucydillonbooks).

Book Review: Shoot the Moon by Bella Cassidy @BellaMoonShoot @rararesources

Synopsis

Tassie Morris is everyone’s favourite wedding photographer, famous for her photos of offbeat ceremonies and alternative brides. Yet commitment is proving impossible for Tassie herself, who cannot forget her first love.

When she’s sent to photograph a ceremony on Schiehallion – the Fairy Hill of the Scottish
Caledonians – she meets Dan, who might be the one to make her forget her past. That is, until a family crisis begins a chain of events that threaten to destroy not only Tassie’s love life, but her entire career.

Set in a colourful world of extraordinary weddings, Shoot the Moon explores the complexities of different kinds of love: romantic love, mother love, friendship. And, ultimately, the importance of loving yourself.

My Review

Tassie Morris is a world famous wedding photographer. Although she captures everybody else happy moments, she’s never managed to capture her own as she’s never forgotten her first love Alex. When Tassie is assigned to photograph a wedding on Schiehallion (the Fairy Hill) in Scotland she meets the very adorable Dan. The more time Tassie spends with Dan the more she realises that maybe Dan is the one for her and that it is finally time to move on from Alex. When a family event turns Tassie’s world upside down and Alex makes a reappearance in her life will this stop her from moving forward with her life, finding love with Dan and affect her career.

I’ve never read a book by this author so I went into this book completely blind after reading the blurb. I really enjoyed the storyline and it was such an emotional read. Tassie’s the kind of character that you bond with from the outset. She’s likeable and appears very put together but at the same time she’s very broken. Her first love Alex had a significant impact on her life but he chose ambition over Tassie and their relationship but despite this she’s never got over him and is still drawn to him. I did wonder if that was because Alex is part of her comfort zone and was her first love and nothing since has measured up. But from the outset there was something about Alex that just didn’t seem like he was the one for Tassie. That is until she meets Dan who has now been added to the book boyfriend list. Everything about Dan is just adorable. He is kind, considerate, dashing and the complete opposite of Alex. One of my favourite parts in the book is when Dan appears outside Tassie’s room and there’s that Romeo and Juliet scene which is then followed by a moonlit walk. Everything about Dan just screams romance and soul mate.

Although the storyline includes romance it is also about relationships. The relationships Tassie has with her dad but also her mum play a big factor in the storyline. The relationship Tassie has with her mum is definitely strained and that is obvious from the moment we are first introduced to her. However, as the story progresses we learn more about Tassie’s mum’s history and why she appears cold towards her daughter. Her past shines a light on what she has been through which Tassie only discovers towards the end of the book and how it’s shaped her to become the person she is. The part where Tassie reads the letter had me in tears, but I will say no more to avoid spoilers.

This book had a cover revamp at the start of the year and I have to say I love this new cover as it is so much more reflective of the story contained inside.

A book I thoroughly enjoyed which was a very emotional. I hope to read more from this author in the future.

Author Bio

Bella Cassidy grew up in the West Country – reading contemporary romances, romances, historical novels, literary fiction… just about anything she could lay her hands on. After a few years in London, working as a waitress and in PR and advertising, she went to Sussex to read English – despite admitting in her pre-interview that this rather sociable period in her life had seen her read only one book in six months: a Jilly Cooper.

She’s had an eclectic range of jobs: including in the world of finance; social housing fundraising; a stint at the Body Shop – working as Anita Roddick’s assistant; as a secondary school teacher, then teaching babies to swim: all over the world.

She’s done a lot of research for writing a wedding romance, having had two herself. For her first she was eight months pregnant – a whale in bright orange – and was married in a barn with wood fires burning. The second saw her in elegant Edwardian silk, crystals and lace, teamed with yellow wellies
and a cardigan. Both were great fun; but it was lovely having her daughter alongside, rather than inside her at the second one.

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