probably the least traumatic of the series :) utterly romantic. I dream of belonging to a family like that
Firstly, the guy on the front cover looks no...moreprobably the least traumatic of the series :) utterly romantic. I dream of belonging to a family like that
Firstly, the guy on the front cover looks nothing like COLE NOTHING – where are the tattoos???? Cole has been one of my favorite supporting characters through the series, we’ve been lucky enough to see him mature into adulthood. He is one of the lovelies guys in the book kingdom ;) Can you tell how excited I was to finally read Cole’s story. SWOON
The prologue takes an immediate turn in the imagination toward fate and destiny alongside a soul-mate connection. I especially adored how the ending mirrored the beginning bring a fullness to the story.
Told from Shannon’s point of view, she’s certainly been through the wringer where romance is concerned. You can certainly understand why she doesn’t feel as if she can trust another man again, top that with being ostracized from her family; Shannon is in a very bad place at the start of the book. Revelations are told in a flashback style and when all the details are revealed it alters your perspective regarding Shannon’s barriers.
The attraction and chemistry between Cole and Shannon is electrifying although Shannon desperately tries to fight it. Shannon has always looked for the best in people but following her disastrous relationship history she is more than a little afraid to take a chance. Throw in Cole’s tattooed, confident, hotness easily mistaken for player bad boy. Although Shannon really doesn’t give him a chance, you empathize with her. As Shannon’s barriers come down the sizzle factor between her and Cole increases.
Cole has is own baggage that causes some serious mis-communication. Yet I never once questioned the strength of his relationship with Shannon. The peripheral characters as always add a deeper connection to the story as a whole. I love the portrayal of the close knit family and friends in this series. I want to belong to them :) The progression of each relationship within the series never ceases to amaze me with each new book.
I found Echoes of Scotland Street to be the least angst filled of the series so far and utterly, utterly romantic.(less)
My love for World War Two literature is never ending and I was particularly pleased to have the chance to read about the battle of...moreReview by Beth 4.5/5
My love for World War Two literature is never ending and I was particularly pleased to have the chance to read about the battle of Stalingrad and the people trying to live whilst it’s going on. Completely fascinating and not a subject I know in depth it is very clear that Pierce has researched and researched to ensure every element of this novel is believable and every character is genuine. There are parts of this book that are hard to read as we meet characters who have had their nerves destroyed and their mental state is far removed from their normal. The moment Yuri is forced to leave his mother and baby sister is heart-breaking, Pierce talks about his family in ways which make you want to pick them up and take them anywhere else, away from the terror of the battlefield. At Stalingrad there were nearly 2 million killed, civilians and soldiers. Pierce doesn’t shy away from the brutality of it all and even with the young age of her audience she simply tells a story. As well as Yuri we have Peter, who at just 5 years old gives another dimension to the story, more innocent and naïve and Vlad, a teenage soldier who, despite bravado, sees and hears things no child should have to see. As the battle commences so does the connection between Vlad, Yuri and Peter as Pierce’s plot cleverly brings them together and then bang, in a horrible, harrowing climax, it’s all over. There are no happy endings because it would ruin the authenticity of Pierce’s story. I didn’t expect the end to be quite so brutal but, I think because it is the story has stayed with me for longer and I have a powerful sense of the injustice of war and a deeper understanding of the Battle of Stalingrad. Although the novel sounds dark there are moments of light relief, adding humanity, with scenes of spying on Nazi soldiers particularly heart-warming, although when put like that it sounds pretty terrifying. I would love to read more of Pierce’s work. (less)
I completely loved The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant but the first in the Bluebell Gadsby Diaries series, After Iris,...more3.5/5 Review by Beth
I completely loved The Things We Did For Love by Natasha Farrant but the first in the Bluebell Gadsby Diaries series, After Iris, seemed to pass me by. Unperturbed I thought Flora in Love would be worth a shot and I got stuck into the crazy, madcap family life of the Gadsbys. Madcap is just one way to describe the Gadsbys, their life is completely unbelievable at times but there is a lot of warmth in their crazy ways and odd behaviours. Throughout Flora in Love, things are told from Blue’s point of view again, as we dive into another crazy race around their lives and the strange things they get up to. Being unfamiliar with the characters in this sequel, I didn’t get the same pleasure of joining them again as many reviews I’ve read but I did enjoy getting to know them, I don’t think I missed out having not read After Iris. Romance sits squarely at the heart of this novel with almost every character having a dalliance or two. Easy to read and become immersed in, it’s hard not to wish you were a member of the Gadsby family yourself. Despite the simplicity of the writing the plot is tight and there are unpredictable surprises along the way. There are sad moments which take your breath away amongst the humour and all the key characters are looked at with true feeling and realism. Despite their crazy ways I felt like all of these characters were completely genuine and even those on the periphery like Zach and his mother are given the opportunity to shine. This didn’t blow me away with its brilliance like the wonderful The Things We Did For Love but it was fun and the characters are wonderfully written. (less)
This book surprised me, the bright pink cover and cartoon-style hides a much deeper story and a much stronger, more enjoyable character...moreReview by Beth
This book surprised me, the bright pink cover and cartoon-style hides a much deeper story and a much stronger, more enjoyable character than I was imagining. First things first, it’s pretty clear Vanessa Curtis has got her finger on the pulse when it comes to what’s popular at present, with a resurgent love for baking present almost everywhere we look – a novel looking at this subject, complete with recipes is tons of fun but as I’ve already said there’s a much deeper, more serious side to this novel which is so well told that it’s probably Curtis would have achieved the same fantastic novel whether Amelie’s love was baking or rock climbing.
Anyway, Amelie is obviously the shining star of this novel. She is feisty and brave and strong and doesn’t let her medical condition define her. With Cystic Fibrosis she is living in a great deal of discomfort regularly and her poor lungs are struggling throughout the novel as she fights hard to be what she describes as ‘normal’. It isn’t steeped in medical terminology and therefore the reader gets a truly simple yet clear picture of what cystic fibrosis does, and it’s simply horrible. I went to school with someone with cystic fibrosis and I can picture him to this day, many of the things in this novel made me think of him.
The characters surrounding Amelie are almost exactly as you’d expect, her mother strives to keep her safe and protect her, her father wants to help her be independent and find her own way. Her boyfriend is a fantastic addition to the cast who shows that, despite her thoughts, Amelie gets a great deal of normality in her life especially as he refuses to focus on her condition and enjoys her company for who she is.
The Baking Life of Amelie Day is about having a fighting spirit and taking risks, although they don’t all turn out positively. There’s a sad tinge to the novel throughout, especially as the prognosis of someone living with Cystic Fibrosis, even today, is quite bleak, but Amelie’s strength of character allows her to be an enjoyable, funny and wonderful creation.
I’d love to see what Vanessa Curtis does next.(less)