This is a historical mystery that haunts one family, that is laced with a love story. Jude works for a prestigious auctioneer company in London. ThingThis is a historical mystery that haunts one family, that is laced with a love story. Jude works for a prestigious auctioneer company in London. Things are looking bad for the company since the recession hit - that is until she receives a call from the Starbrough residence in Norfolk. They have a library which has many first additions and some historic star gazing equipment. Jude doesn't know what to expect when she arrives in Norfolk - her old home. What she finds is an old folly, a niece having the same nightmares she used to have a family mystery and a lovely man...
I really enjoyed this book. It was not a quick read, but it was well worth reading. This is a book that encompasses the past and the present, love, history, astrology, travellers and family. The main focus of the book is the mystery. Jude is at Starbrough to look through and catalogue Anthony Wickham's library collection, however, very early on she comes across a diary, not kept by Anthony, but his adopted daughter Esther. There are no records of Esther in the family archives - who was she? Where did she come from and what happened to her? Are the suspicions right - is she a girl from a noble background? If so, how did she end up lost at the side of the road in Norfolk, aged three? There are so many questions for Jude to answer. She roams around the countryside, hunting for clues - is there another diary? I really enjoyed this story line. Hore includes sections from Esther's diary in the story - taking us back to her life - adding another dimension to the story.
Alongside this, Jude is still trying to recover from the death of her husband, her Gran has given her a necklace that belonged to her traveller friend, and wants Jude to find the friend to return the necklace and Jude is struggling with her sister Claire and the fact Claire's daughter Summer is having the same nightmares that Jude used to have. What is the connection? Why is Summer having those dreams too? The most exciting part of the book was the climax at the end - Summer goes missing. Her dream leads her to the old folly - the building where Anthony Wickham used to star gaze. It is unsafe, possibly haunted and scares Summer. Yet she sleep walks there. It turns out, she is going to try and save Esther - who was locked up there after her father died - even though Esther lived in the 1800s. What is the connection between Esther and Summer?
All is revealed at the end - loose ends tied up and questions answered. Maybe the connections were too predictable and unrealistic, but I liked it! The ending is very neat - the family line that runs down to Summer and the Lord who happened to be working with the Jude's auctioneer company. However, all answers were satisfying, and I enjoyed the way Hore wrapped the book up.
This is a complex book with many story lines, all linked fascinating. There is a love story - we get to see Jude's broken heart healed by Euan - even though there was confusion about which sister he was falling for. Again, this romance is fairly predictable, but it was lovely anyway, and didn't take over the story. It was a nice story that completed the book.
I thought all the characters were great to read about. I felt for Jude - finding it hard to relate to her sister, struggling with love and working hard to solve the Wickham mystery and get a great sale for her company. I really liked Chantel as well - the mother who lived at Starbrough Hall. She was caring, and loved the library - a great reason for me to like her!
This is a complex, exciting book. It has mystery, suspense and romance. This is the second book by Rachel Hore that I have read and I have really enjoyed both. She is fast becoming a favourite author and I highly recommend this book....more
This is a collection of short stories,REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Addition: Review e-book from netGalley
Genre: Female fiction, romance
Rating: 4 out of 5
This is a collection of short stories, written by prolific chick-lit authors Debbie Macomber, Susan Mallery and Christina Skye.
Knitting is a way of life: The Twenty-First Wish by Debbie Macomber
Anne Marie Roche and her adopted daughter, ten-year-old Ellen, have each written a list of twenty wishes - on which they included learning to knit. But Ellen has quietly added a twenty-first wish: that her mom will fall in love with Tim, Ellen's birth father, who's recently entered their lives...
This short story follows on from the Blossom Street stories. Anne Marie had recently adopted Ellen, a girl who had been bought up by her Grandma until her death. Ellen's Dad - Tim, who didn't know until he was a father until Ellen was adopted has been spending a lot of time with both his daughter and Anne Marie. Both adults developed feelings for each other but Tim had a fiancée. When she found out about Ellen, she went back to drinking, and Tim - a recovering alcohol left her. However, Anne Marie felt messed around Tim and decided to have nothing more to do with him. However, Ellen has one wish she has told no one - that Anne Marie and Tim fall in love. Will her wish come true?
I love Debbie Macomber, and I enjoyed this story. Sadly, it was too short! Macomber writes a lovely story about friendship, family and love. My favourite character was Ellen. She was cute and so likeable. She is passionate and just a delight to read. I think Macomber writes really warm, friendly characters and it is so easy to fall in love with them.
The ending was not a surprise - but it was so nice! I was satisfied and happy by the conclusion. The only problem with this story was it was too short. I love the Blossom Street series - the characters, the knitting and the friendship. I really hope Macomber writes another in this series.
Knitting is a passion: Coming Unraveled by Susan Mallery
When Robyn Mulligan's dreams of becoming a Broadway star give way to longing for her childhood home, she returns to Texas, running her grandmother's knitting store. But the handsome, hot-tempered T.J. Passman isn't making it easy on her. If he can learn to trust Robyn, and overcome his tragic past, they just might discover a passion like no other. Susan's story in this anthology is linked to her book ALREADY HOME (April 2011).
To be honest, I didn't enjoy this story too much. It follows Robyn, a girl who had always dreamt of becoming a Broadway star. She leaves Texas for New York, but her dreams don't come to anything. She returns to Texas when her Gran needs to go in for an operation. When she walks into the knitting shop she is greeted by an angry stare from a guy she has never met - T.J. After a short, hostile chat with him, she discovers he thinks she is a fraud, lying to her Gran and living off her money. He is wrong, but will she change his mind?
The problem I had with this story was it seemed really sex-driven. Every time T.J. and Robyn look at each other, Mallery seems compelled to describe all emotions and longings. It just made me bored and uncomfortable.
This is another love story with knitting thrown in. Again, the ending was predictable - but who doesn't like a happy ending?! I thought Robyn's Gran and her friends were lovely characters. They were funny and so caring. They were really supportive of Robyn, even after her acting career didn't work out.
This is a nice story, ruined by too much talk about sex, and the longing for it.
Knitting is a comfort: Return to Summer Island by Christina Skye
After a devastating car accident, Caro McNeal is welcomed by a community of knitters on Oregon's sleepy Summer Island. She also finds meaning and purpose in the letters she exchanges with a marine serving in Afghanistan. But when life takes another unexpected turn, will Caro pick up the threads of hope, opening her heart to wherever it takes her?
Meet Caro. She loves knitting. When she isn't working, she knits. That is, until she is hit by a car and her right arm is mashed. She will face a long time in a cast, and then physiotherapy - with no guarantees that she will ever be able to knit again. She leaves Chicago to recover and goes back to the home she grew up in, with her Gran. A chance visit by Gage Greyson changes her mindset and her road to recovery. He is off to Afghanistan - leaving his pets in the care of the local vet. Caro and Gage stay in contact, will it lead to love?
This is a nice love story. It is love not just for another person, but for knitting and animals. It is a story of recovery, patience and art. I thought Caro was a lovely character. She was so gutted by her accident - and so frustrated that she couldn't knit - or do much in fact. Her mindset is changed by one lovely picnic, and the need to look after Gage's two animals.
To be honest, this is not a realistic story. It is about love at first sight and long-distance army relationship. Of course this book had a happy ending, I just didn't think any of this would happen. Gage is involved in a military attack, yet someone Caro's Gran knows was able to tell her confidential information and get her to the base where Gage was taken after the attack. It was lovely, just unrealistic.
This is a nice collection of stories, based around knitting. The stories and writings are different. It was a nice, quick read - very enjoyable.
I received this book from NetGalley – an online book review site.
The story follows Harper, a divorce attorney with a very cynical view of love. She maI received this book from NetGalley – an online book review site.
The story follows Harper, a divorce attorney with a very cynical view of love. She married young to Nick and it didn’t take long for the marriage to break up. Since then she has been sceptical about relationships. She is currently dating a fireman, who is younger than her and doesn’t have equal intelligence. They have been together 2 years and she has decided to finally make the relationship serious by proposing. It doesn’t go well – he isn’t that interested. Then she gets a call – her sister is getting married again. She is unimpressed with her sister and the fact that she is mid-twenties and about to marry for the third time. And the man she is marrying is Nick’s brother. This means she has to see Nick again at the wedding – where he makes it clear that he believes Harper is still the only one for him. When flights get cancelled Harper realises the only way home is a road trip with Nick. Will this cause them to rethink their relationship? Is Nick right – are they made for each other?
To be honest, this isn’t the best book I’ve read recently. It is predictable and in places not that exciting. Harper is a woman who is scarred and hurting. She blames Nick for their break up – and of course he blames her. I found there was a lot of that taking place in the book. There were also some scenes which I just found really unrealistic – such as making up with Nick to then have Dennis propose and all his family come round. Would that really happen? This is typical chick-lit and an Ok book.
There was something about Harper that I liked – she was a determined woman and she fought for what she wanted. I liked that. I didn’t understand why she was with Dennis, other than he was an attractive man. He irritated me a little bit – not the type of man I want to have around! I liked Nick. He helped Harper do things she never thought she would do – such as finally going to see her Mum again after years of never seeing her or hearing from her.
I took two attempts to get into this book. It was alright once it got going. The storyline isn’t challenging and the outcome is predictable. This is an easy read with a nice ending. Not the best book I’ve read but not overly bad. If you want a light read, this book is for you....more
This is the first novel by JJ Johnson I have read, and I really enjoyed it. It is classed as young adult, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was pacey, eThis is the first novel by JJ Johnson I have read, and I really enjoyed it. It is classed as young adult, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was pacey, exciting and gripping. I read this book as fast as I read Therapy, and although they are completely different, they both had my heart racing, had me wondering what was going to happen.
This is the story of Evie, a girl who is about to enter her final year at high school - although this will also be her first year at high school, as she was home-schooled, both by herself using the internet and her mother, a wonderful, slightly eccentric character who likes to move around. We first meet Evie out by the river, drawing a snake she caught after she has fallen and sprained her ankle. Cue Raja and Jacinda, cousins who are walking past and help Evie. Their friendship blossoms and becomes a key storyline throughout the book. Along with Evie, and the havoc she causes at school. She doesn't know what to expect but the regimental and sometimes unfair school system causes her to act radically, and as a result, secrets come out and the school is turned to chaos. Her relationships are jeopardised, as is her opportunity to go to her chosen university. Will she be able to set things right, whilst changing what was wrong?
As I said, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun novel about high-school. I can't say how realistic it is, one girl coming in and shaking a whole school - certainly wouldn't have happened at my secondary school, but it was a fascinating read. Evie stands up to teachers who bully students, teachers who have relationships with students outside of school - platonic or not, and she takes on the school about their mobile phone policy, the food and the fact the students are not allowed outside. Her, Rajas and Jacinda set up a blog, and chaos ensues. It might not be realistic, but it was a great read. I was hooked from the beginning, fascinated, and wondered if schools in America are really as bad as this novel makes them out to be?
Johnson seems to be addressing the lack of democracy in schools. Should students be allowed to have a say about every matter concerning school? Should they even have to go? It was interesting, and some things I agreed with - like the fact they should be allowed outside and the canteen should serve healthy food, but other stuff I found myself disagreeing with. I found myself entering into the debate, even as I read, which is a sign of a good book to me.
I liked all the characters. Evie was different, not afraid to stand out. Maybe without Rajas and Jacinda she wouldn't have made any friends, but I liked her individuality. Rajas and Jacinda were very well written. I liked how they interacted with each other - and their mood swings seemed very realistic. Martha - Evie's mum was a strange character. I didn't like that Evie didn't call her "Mum" but I loved that Martha was there for Evie all the way through. The headmaster is the other character who stuck out for me. He reminded me of Headmaster Chartleston from Gilmore Girls! He seemed to give Evie a lot of freedom and often support - which I found hard to believe given the state the school was slipping into.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and exhilarating. The ending wasn't a total surprise, but then this isn't a thriller, it is a young-adult novel full of school, friendship and love. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it, even if, like me, you aren't a young adult any more!...more
Cleo Quinn doesn't have a great track record when it comes to mREVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
Addition: Library hard back
Cleo Quinn doesn't have a great track record when it comes to men, but now Will's come along she's optimistic. Handsome, attentive and an absolute gentleman when it comes to her questionable cooking skills, he could be her Mr Right. Things are definitely looking up for Cleo... apart from one small problem with a rather large ego. Johnny LaVenture, sculptor extraordinaire and her childhood adversary, is back in Channing's Hill and tormenting Cleo as if he'd never been away.
But life never goes to plan, does it? Johnny isn't the only one stirring up trouble and, for Cleo's family and friends, all kinds of sparks are starting to fly. If you think you can put the past behind you, think again...
I read this book back at the beginning of the year, and really enjoyed it. It is a book that had me glued to it all day. I couldn't put it down and I finished it in a day. I have read a couple of other novels by Jill Mansell, and really enjoyed those too.
Mansell writes really good chick-lit. Her books are fun and hard to put down. They always perk me up and I always enjoy them. In this novel, Cleo is the protagonist. She used to work hard at school but a bout of bullying put an end to that. As an adult she makes a living driving limos. She is happy and content with her job and her boyfriend Will. Then the man who made her life miserable at school comes back to town for his father's funeral her world is shaken. Her sister's world is also being shaken. She has just discovered that her husband has an eighteen year old daughter. Did he cheat? Why didn't he tell her?
Mansell weaves a web that revolves around two sisters, Cleo and Abby. Cleo is settled, enjoying life, her man and her friends. Then Johnny returns. His attention is on her, and her head is being turned toward him. She tries to cling on to her current relationship - to discover Will is actually married with children. She feels awful and won't forgive him. What she doesn't expect is to become friends with his wife. And what about Abby? Whilst putting away her husband's socks she discovers a photo of his daughter. How and when did this happen? She discovers that the mother is the surrogate they wanted to use when they discovered Abby wouldn't be able to carry a baby to full term. The woman had claimed she didn't get pregnant, but she had in fact lied and kept the baby - a little girl called Georgia. There are twists and turns throughout the book and it is so enjoyable.
Mansell writes a whole host of readable, realistic characters. I liked Cleo. She was caring and concerned about her family. She is sensitive and she is not easily wooed. I felt so much for Abby. She was a damaged woman, as she couldn't have children. Then to discover her husband had a child, and then for Georgia to come and live with them was tough. She was sad and angry and lost. Her character was realistic and heart breaking. I liked Cleo's best friend Ash. I found it fascinating how he was a radio DJ who really was very shy and not that good looking. However, he cared and was fun with Cleo. I liked Johnny as well. Once he realised how he had made Cleo feel he was apologetic and watching him chase Cleo was great!
There is a lot in this book - affairs, barrenness, family, surrogacy and love. There is so much to get your teeth in. I felt every story line was handled really well. I was sucked into this world and really enjoyed being there. The ending is fairly predictable, but who doesn't like a happy ending?!
I can easily give this book 4/5 because it was so good. From start to finish, I was hooked. Really worth reading if you like chick-lit....more