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» Listings for November 2014

  1. My Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they? 

    Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life. As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing, the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree!  The only problem could be her boss… single-dad, Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter? As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it?

  2. Synopsis: A man's body is found in an empty house. His heart has been cut out and delivered to his wife and children. He is the first victim, and Detective Inspector Helen Grace knows he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night?

    The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives. Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is - or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase...

    My Rating: 4/5


    I was pleased to be part of the book blog tour, especially as I had never read Dana Bate.

    This book The Stall of Second Chances is her second novel (and is the US title is A Second Bite at The Apple)

    Her first book The Secret Supper Club (as its known in the UK) and The Girls Guide to Love and Supper Clubs (US Version) was released in 2012.

    About Dana: Her writing has appeared in numerous outlets, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Culinate, Table Matters, and Prior to her writing career, Dana spent five years working as a Washington, DC-based field producer and on-air reporter for the PBS Nightly Business Report, where she won the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for a series she produced on the Indian economy. The award almost made up for the monkey attack she endured while on location. Almost.

    In addition to the daily scripts she wrote for NBR, she contributed regularly to the program’s blog, The XChange, where she wrote about everything from health care to Delhi Belly to Warren Buffett’s minions. Unfortunately, the blog no longer exists, and so the detailed, first-person account of her monkey attack has been lost forever. The Internet giveth, and the Internet taketh away.

    As an undergraduate, she studied molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University. Don’t worry: the choice doesn’t make sense to her parents either. In her senior year, she became an anchor and reporter for Yale’s one-hour news radio program, The Blueline Report, a show produced in the style of NPR’s All Things Considered. Hooked on the storytelling process, she enrolled in Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where she received a master’s degree and won the Harrington Award for outstanding promise in the field of journalism. These days, when she isn’t writing, she can usually be found in her kitchen, whipping up a new recipe from her extensive cookbook collection. She currently lives outside Philadelphia with her family.

  4.  Synopsis: The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it. Days later, another desperate escapee is found - and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed. Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind? 

    Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors - living calling cards - who hold the key to the case.

     And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die . . .

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  5. My Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other again following a school reunion.

    So all is forgotten ... until eight months later when a shock meeting at an antenatal class forces them to confront the fact that Matthew could be the father of Katy's baby.

    Love and life are messy, but Katy and Matthew take things to a whole new level as deep emotions begin to resurface and hormones run riot.

    My Review: I’ve never read Tracy Bloom and the synopsis on this looked okay so I was hoping for a light hearted and funny read. I’m pleased to say that’s exactly what I got. Katy the lead character is pregnant and attending an antenatal class with her boyfriend Ben. When they arrive the bump into Katy’s childhood sweetheart Matthew and from that point on all hell breaks loose. I liked Katy the main female character but if I’m being 100% honest I actually preferred the boyfriend Ben. He was funny and childish and a fantastic character to read about along with his madcap and equally childish friends.

    Matthew on the other hand grated on me from start to finish with his weak and pathetic manner, I just spent most of the time wanting to slap him. The story itself was quite funny and I enjoyed the book and read it in a day and a half. I would say this is the perfect beach read and is a perfect reason to sit and do nothing! I also want to mention the cover, although simple it’s really eye catching and I hope she sticks with this theme as the books look great. I have now made sure I have another Bloom on my Kindle for future reading and will certainly be keeping an eye out for this author in the future.

  6. My Rating: 4/5

    Availability: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audio, 

    Synopsis: Is Italian really the language of love? A new class of students hopes to find out. Anna's recently been told the father she's never met is Italian. Now she's baking focaccia, whipping up tiramisu and swotting up on her vocabulary, determined to make it to Italy so she can find him in person. Catherine's husband has walked out on her, and she's trying to pick up the pieces of her life. But she'll need courage as well as friends when she discovers his deception runs even deeper than infidelity. Sophie's the teacher of the class, who'd much rather be back in sunny Sorrento. She can't wait to escape the tensions at home and go travelling again. But sometimes life - and love - can surprise you when you least expect it. As the evening class gets underway, friendships form and secrets from Italy begin to emerge. With love affairs blossoming in the most unlikely places, and hard decisions to face, it's going to be a year that Anna, Catherine and Sophie will never forget.