I have just finished reading three very different ARCs back to back. Grace Harper's 'The Stranger's Voice' was an uplifting, romantic, feel good storyI have just finished reading three very different ARCs back to back. Grace Harper's 'The Stranger's Voice' was an uplifting, romantic, feel good story. It made me experience all the feels and by gosh was it a great story.
Adeline is a vibrant, beautiful, strong, fiercely independent woman who has never let her hearing problems hold her back. Only those closest to her know of her problems. Not because she's embarrassed by it, but because she doesn't see herself any differently from anyone else. She can lip read and can communicate well enough to get by in life.
Callum is a strong, caring, loving guy. He builds schools in poor countries and doesn't see his wealth or status as something that should define who he is.
When the two first met, I was in stitches. That first meeting was so hilarious. Adeline is Callum's landlady, as he chooses to rent a flat from her. He's a carpenter and so he can repair the damage done by the previous tenant. He may have the money to go and buy a fancy house with all the mod-cons, but instead he chooses to rent the apartment next door to his extremely attractive next door neighbour. That's one of the things I like most about him, he's down to earth, genuine and doesn't let his wealth go to his head. He's not some domineering, typical rich guy type.
As the story unfolds, we learn more about Adeline and Callum as separate characters, but also about the developing bond between them. Adeline doesn't trust easily, thanks in no small part to her parents. The two people she should have been able to trust most in her life are nothing but vile excuses for human beings. But regardless of that fact, she's slowly learning to trust Callum. He's a genuinely good guy who seems to care about her. She can't confide about her hearing problems because she is scared he'll run away. But Callum isn't stupid, he picks up on little things, thanks, in part, to his new apprentice Scottie. Callum has his own problems. There's a skeleton in his own closet that he's not keen on letting anyone discover.
The story was beautifully written and has a definite feel good vibe throughout. There are ups and downs, as in any good love story. The highs make you smile and sigh in happiness and the lows make you feel empathy towards the characters and their issues. I can tell you I shed a tear or two.
It was nice to read a story from the POV of both the main characters as you could get into their heads easily and figure out what was going on.
Grace Harper has written characters to fall in love with. In spite of their difficulties, Adeline and Callum make a world of their own where the only people that matter are them and their closest friends.
In a world where we all have our own worries, it's nice to be transported to another place where you can lose yourself and live the life of the characters. This book certainly had me hook, line and sinker. I lost all track of time while I was reading.
From my point of view as a disabled woman, I can totally see why Adeline is scared to put her heart on the line, only to have it broken by a man because he can't see beyond the label of disability. It's hard when you want so much to be loved, to be in love, but people are more shallow than they'd like to admit and are very easily scared off. They can't cope with everything that comes with your disability. It's my opinion that instead of caring about how YOU deal with someone else's disability, you should first care how THEY deal with it. This story proves my point.
This is the first book I have read by Grace Harper but it won't be the last. The way she writes has you falling head first into a world where you don't ever want to leave.
If you haven't yet read 'The Stranger's Voice' then I suggest you get your copy and see for yourself why I loved it so much. ...more
This is a hard review for me to write. I mean I loved this book but I had a love/hate relationship with the characters which was just as dark and twisThis is a hard review for me to write. I mean I loved this book but I had a love/hate relationship with the characters which was just as dark and twisting as the storyline itself. From the beginning, I was 100% #TeamAshley. I hated Eden with a burning passion. But then somewhere along the way, I was 50/50 #TeamAshley & #TeamEden. Somehow, Eden managed to redeem herself enough for me to have a foot in each camp. Before which, I had messaged Kirsty and told her if she made me like Eden I was going to throw a tantrum worthy of a two year old. Little did I know then that Eden would worm her way into my affections. So it was time to throw a tantrum. Then, somehow I ended up totally 100% #TeamEden and I despised Ashley. I can't tell you why because it would ruin the fun of finding out for yourself, but there came a moment, a bolt out of the blue, that made me turn on Ashley. This story was full of angst, drama, passion, hatred, vengeance and a twisty storyline that made you feel as though you never knew what would happen next. You might have thought you knew, but something would happen to knock you off balance. I was as divided as a person could be. I mean how could I end up hating poor, sweet, innocent Ashley?! Well trust me, it happened. And now I look back at it and I can clearly see which of the two main women was the true heartless, calculating b**ch. Both women have a darkness about them, the thing is, Eden wears her darkness like a badge of honour, whereas Ashley hides hers.
This story was amazing from beginning to end. It had me hooked and I sank low into the life the characters led. Lawson was a brilliant character. He's a killer, but he also has some redeeming qualities. I found myself enthralled and I was rooting for him to end up with the right woman. If you're looking for a romantic, swoon-worthy love story that makes you weak at the knees, this is NOT that story. This is a story of an anti-hero and his life as a killer as part of The Firm. The main characters might be Lawson, Eden and Ashley, but the secondary characters really shine through too. They are just as enigmatic as the MC's. I loved every one of them, especially Liam and Tess. There are more twists, turns and loop the loops than the biggest roller coaster I've ever ridden. Sweet Venom is one of the best books I've read in a long time. There's so much packed into one story. A gamut of emotions, highs, lows and lower than lows. The depths people will go to for those they love... I've never read a story from 3 different POVs before, I wasn't even sure it could be done. But Kirsty-Anne Still executed it perfectly. I didn't know what to expect going into this story. Would one of the main characters be lacking because the story was told by 3 people instead of 2? Definitely not! They were all strong characters, vital to the furthering of the plot. There were a couple of subplots along the way and I was in for a shock more than once.
All in all, this was a superb read. I always love KAS's books, but this ranks highest for me (second on the list is Heroine Hearts). I was left sated, yet I wanted more. More Lawson, more Eden, more Liam... but more Ashley? Nah!
It was an epic story and if I could rate it more than 5 stars, I would. I can guarantee the readers will be divided. Who will you end up rooting for? Please pick up a copy and find out.
A beautifully written novel, by an extremely talented author. One I wish would be turned into a movie because it played out like one in my head. I easily fell into the story, felt a connection to the characters as if I was actually there. I saw the blood and death surrounding me and I loved every moment of it. I hope you do too! ...more
I don't really know what to say when it comes to writing this particular review. This book is so unlike most in its genre. The main characters, ChanceI don't really know what to say when it comes to writing this particular review. This book is so unlike most in its genre. The main characters, Chance and Lily, are polar opposites. She believes in Disney-esque fairytale endings where "they all lived happily ever after". But Chance? He's not even convinced that love is something he ever *wants* to feel. His parents are the perfect example of a beautiful relationship, but Chance doesn't think he'll ever experience that for himself. When Lily and Chance meet, he's bowled over by her. She's a whirlwind, a breath of fresh air. She's not your typical "girl next door" and she isn't going to be an easy lay like the rest of the girls that throw themselves at his feet. Lily is intoxicating, captivating and he can't resist the urge to find out more about her, what makes her tick, what makes her laugh or cry. Lily is addicted to Chance like a junkie on crack. She's caught up in the romance of it all. The way he treats her, the way he makes her feel. What she doesn't anticipate is how much of a hole he'll leave in her life.
I fell for Chance hook, line and sinker. But then he pulled the rug out from under my feet and hurt that sweetheart of a girl. I felt he wasn't being truthful with himself and was emotionally stunted and closed off. They say women are the more emotional species and in the first half of this story, this was very true. Not knowing what the rest of the book had in store for me had me worried. Was Chance going to restore my faith in mankind or was he going to leave me with a gaping hole where my heart used to be? I say "me" and "my" because I made such an emotional connection with Lily that I felt like for a time, I was her. I ran a gamut of emotions and felt like one minute I was at the pinnacle of a rollercoaster, but the next I was in the dip after the adrenaline rush wears off and you realise that it was a brief experience of one of the highest highs. I almost wanted Lily to move on and marry a great guy, but there's something about first loves, they stay with you. Chance needed to redeem himself because he tore out my heart, put it through a wood chipper and then shoved it back into my chest cavity, broken and useless.
Did he redeem himself? Did he recapture Lily's heart? Did he ever open up to the idea of falling in love? That, my friends, you will have to find out for yourself. This book should come with a warning, so I'll give you one; grab a man size pack of Kleenex. Beware the tornado about to wreak havoc on your life as you live through Lily. I think she's amazing and I'm sure you will too.
If I hadn't already known, I wouldn't have been able to tell that this was a debut book. It flowed beautifully and the story was amazing. It really left me speechless that this was, in actual fact, this authors FIRST book. She captured the emotions of the college years so perfectly, but also the more grown up aspects of it. I loved the writing style. I found it to be unique and captivating, pretty much like Lily herself. Come and take a chance on Chance. I swear you won't regret it! ...more
There are no words and yet too many words at the same time to describe the awesomeness that is Never The Bride. If you're a fan of the Bridget Jones fThere are no words and yet too many words at the same time to describe the awesomeness that is Never The Bride. If you're a fan of the Bridget Jones films, then you need to meet Abbie Carter. She'll give Bridget a run for her money. The fact that she and her friend Georgie live in the small Shropshire village of Dilsbury means that anything she does ends up being quite monumental and gives the locals a laugh or two on a regular basis. Nothing stays secret in Dilsbury for long.
Abbie is sweet, gentle, fun-loving, down to earth and downright adorable. She's very open the way she speaks her mind and it doesn't always have good consequences.
As young girls, her and some friends from school made a pact to be each other's bridesmaids when the time came. But now, Abbie is worried that she'll only ever be a bridesmaid and never meet Mr Right for herself. Dressed in something I can only describe as shockingly unattractive and downright ridiculous, she heads down the aisle for one of the girls weddings. But trust Abbie to trip and make a fool of herself. However, a tall, blonde and extremely hot American man stops her from face-planting the floor. He's the best man at Rachel and Dean's wedding and there's been talk of what a womaniser he is. Abbie doesn't want a one night stand and isn't looking to hook up with Miller Davis, no matter the fact that he's the most attractive guy she's ever met. She has to tamp down her hormones and get herself under control.
From their first meeting, there's something between Miller and Abbie but he lives in America so it's not like she could pursue a relationship with him even if she wanted to, right?!
So in trying to forget him, she ogles the new gardener, her next door neighbours nephew, Heath. Yet another hot man for her to make a complete fool of herself in front of. But as hard as she tries, she can't forget the chemistry between her and Miller and can't help but wonder "what if?"
As the story went on, I spent most of my time laughing my head off. So much so I got some funny looks from my son and he kept asking what was so funny. He said he thought I'd die of laughter. And I can tell you, I very nearly did. The capers (aka disasters) of Abbie Carter are enough to make you proper belly laugh. Of course, it wouldn't be the same story without the sprinklings of drama and boy oh boy, the amount of foot-in-mouth time with Abbie, I'm surprised she hasn't got one foot permanently located in her mouth. As well as being hilarious to a whole new level, this story also made me cry. I was so connected to the characters that I got really emotional when things turned to shit for Abbie. I laughed with her, I cried for her, I laughed some more, then there were rivers of happy tears, then best of all, elation.
This story isn't one to be forgotten any time soon. Oh my god, #Turdgate should totally be a thing. I will never see any orangery window in the same way ever again. That was probably the most hilarious moment of the entire book. I didn't just laugh, I laughed until I couldn't breathe properly. I had to put the book down and wipe the tears from my eyes. Charlotte Fallowfield has such a wicked sense of humour. I promise this book will have you in stitches. If you're in a reading slump and you need something to pull you out of that funk, I wholly suggest Never The Bride. I honestly saw every scene play out before my eyes. It wasn't just words on a page. Charlotte has a way of making you feel like you're really there and can see it all unfolding before you. If they made Bridget Jones into a film, then I would highly recommend they do the same for this book, and no doubt the rest of the series.
I am honoured I got to read an ARC. I'm so glad that I read it because now I am in love with Dilsbury and can't wait for Georgie Basset's story to come next.
If you like rom-coms on telly, things that tug on your heartstrings but most of all you want something to make your face ache from laughing so much, you know what to do. Grab your copy! Don't miss out!...more