**spoiler alert** This is a feel good tale which zips along nicely. Laura is sure of a few things. She loves teaching, she is going to visit Australia**spoiler alert** This is a feel good tale which zips along nicely. Laura is sure of a few things. She loves teaching, she is going to visit Australia, the man she loves- Edwin, a colleague is out of reach and marrying his perfect for him fiancee and the Moonlight Hotel is her favourite place in the world. Then everything tilts on his head when she is invited to Salsa classes at the Moonlight Hotel. Here she finds out that the hotel has been sold to a group who are bound to change the interior and wipe away all that she values about the place. Things are not made easier when Emily, one of her best friends pairs off with Joe during Salsa lessons and then her other friend takes the other eligible bachelor. Australia seems far away and as Laura has to tackle the problems of her friends before her own her hopes and dreams seem further away by the day. The book has serious issues covered as well as the dangers of social media are played out. As events more on apace Laura finds her priorities changing, her feelings for those around her changing and by the end of the renovation will the moonlight hotel still be her favourite place in the world? Humour blended with emotion make this a lovely read and the characters are well drawn and well developed, we can sympathise with them as they go through the ups and downs life throws at them. Laura as the main character is likeable and the awkward moments as she tries to salsa and seduce Edwin are funny and cringy, but we've all been there. A good read!...more
**spoiler alert** I read this with my children aged 11, 9 and 8 and they all enjoyed it. This story more than any of the other Walliams books has a bi**spoiler alert** I read this with my children aged 11, 9 and 8 and they all enjoyed it. This story more than any of the other Walliams books has a bittersweet nature. Grandpa is going missing at night and having him at home ends in disaster. Despite protestations he goes to Twilight Towers. Jack knows there is something wrong though, his parents won't listen and Grandpa is trapped. Jack gets a surprise however when his Grandpa, still caught up in his WWII world manages to avoid taking his sleep medication. Jack and his Grandpa mange to escape with the rest of the Twilight Towers residents despite the 'nurses' best efforts. Unfortunately Grandpa isn't finished yet and his adventure to fly the Spitfire over the skies of London so he can complete his mission plays out. There is a tearful farewell but even Grandpa's funeral is interrupted by the criminals who are eventually caught by the surviving ex-resdients of Twilight Towers. The story is touching and highlights the wonderful relationship between Jack and his Grandpa. Raj is ever present and amusing. There are sadder parts but at the same time the family coping with Grandpa's alzheimer's is one many families now face and the story unfolds in a touching way but with a great sense of adventure and fun....more
**spoiler alert** Written for children my eldest has been telling me how wonderful this book is for some time so I decided to give it a go. It is good**spoiler alert** Written for children my eldest has been telling me how wonderful this book is for some time so I decided to give it a go. It is good even as an adult providing you like fairy tales. The twins, Alex and Connor are down on their luck. Their Father passed away a while ago and their Mother is working all hours to keep a roof over their heads and food in their tummies. Granny gives them special book for their birthdays while Mother is working and then the adventure begins. The book begins to try to get their attention and Alex experiments with it eventually falling into the Land of Stories with Connor.
Here they meet a whole host of fairy tale characters who have all grown up and begun running their own kingdoms. They learn from a timid character called Froggy that to escape the fairy tale land they must collect several magical items such as the spindle from Sleeping Beauty's loom, a glass slipper and so on to complete the wishing spell and get home. To aid them he gives them a journal from the only person that has completed the spell before. Of course, there is catch, the magic of the spell can only be used twice - it has already been used once as evidenced by the journal and there is someone else on the trail of the magical items.
The evil queen has sent the huntsmen daughter on the same quest as the twins as she too wants the items to complete her own wish. The twins are surprised as they travel around the kingdoms and meet the characters they have read about. They face danger many times and learn more about the evil queen's back story. Will they get home or will they be beaten the the spell by the evil queen. This is the first in a series of four with a fifth planned for 2016 and a good read for fairy tale fans who want to know more about their favourite characters....more
**spoiler alert** This is the second of the trilogy that began with Mr Mercedes. This time we are transported back to 1978, an obsessed reader decides**spoiler alert** This is the second of the trilogy that began with Mr Mercedes. This time we are transported back to 1978, an obsessed reader decides to murder the reclusive author John Rothstein because of his treatment of the character Jimmy Gold. It is not for this that Morris Bellamy the villain of the piece is imprisoned, it is for a later crime. Indeed the money and notebooks Bellamy took when he murdered Rothestein have been stashed away for when he is finally released.
Enter Peter Saubers, his Dad was injured in the first novel when Brady Hartsfield drove a car at a queue of job seekers so when Peter stumbles upon the hidden trunk he thinks all of his prayers have been answered. With the appearance of an anonymous monthly allowance the Saubers family start to me to peace, life moves on and things begin to look up, until the money runs out! By that time Pete has figured out how valuable the notebooks are and is trying to strike a deal to sell them to a book collector. This collector thought knows how valuable the notebooks are and how they were originally obtained and wants to have things his own way.
'Red lips' Bellmay meanwhile is out on parole and keen to touch base with his stashed cash and books and is furious to find them gone. He particualrly want the notebooks to see if Rothstein finally came to his senses regarding the character of Jimmy Gold. As he uncovers what happened to the notebooks Tina Pete's kid sister is worrying about Pete. He is losing weight and withdrawn and she thinks something bad will happen so she confides in her friend Barbara. That's where Mr Hodges, Jerome and Holly come in. They join forces to try and get Pete out of his predicament. Then there is the character of Brady- having survived the concert he is in a medical facility, apparently able to move but not responds, but strange things are happening and the nurses feel uneasy around him. This is clearly King sitting up for the final part of the trilogy.
I read this book as quickly as possible, like all King books the characters are great, they blur the distinctions between good and bad. Pete Saubers takes stolen money from a dead man to help his family and keep them together after they were decimated following an accident. Should he have taken the money clearly not, perhaps trying to sell the notebooks is a step too far hence Red Lips catching up to him, the original criminal. Hodges is getting on but his mind is still sharp but even he taunts the injured Brady in his hospital room. This is an advent told at breakneck speed and one that makes you question the boundaries between good and bad. In the end no-one comes out unaffected by the events that unfold! Highly recommended!...more
**spoiler alert** I read this book in just a few days and it was one of those that you want to continue reading to find out what happens next. Mia is**spoiler alert** I read this book in just a few days and it was one of those that you want to continue reading to find out what happens next. Mia is a therapist with great empathy, probably because she has issues in her own past that help to relate to those of the clients she sees. Gemma is a new client, caught up in a case involving some very dangerous people. She is grieving the loss of her Father, who has disappeared with the money of many innocent investors!
To complicate matters Mia discovers her own family has money invested and she is faced with an investigator who suspects that Gemma is in contact with her Father and knows more than she is letting on and is hoping Mia can help him uncover the truth! Mia of course thinks she has come to terms with her own demons, she has stopped therapy, is in love with a wealthy man who adores her. The issue is of course that his children don't approve of the relationship and he is a bit of a control freak who is away a lot and Mia is coming to realise seems to be more in love with the idea of her than with her. She feels uncomfortable in the expensive restaurants he chooses and the apartment that she disparagingly calls The Fridge!
Her own demons resurface as therapy progresses. Her own 'Daddy' issues with Lorcan resurface and through flashbacks her own past with best friend Lysette's brother and the subsequent fall out resonate with the way she deals with Gemma. Increasingly uncomfortable when Gemma shows up outside appointment times and brings her presents she begins to step out of the client - therapist relationship! As events come to a head and Mia enters a downward spiral both her and Gemma's issues reach a resolution as their paths cross once again. A good read, well written ,sympathetic characters and will keep you guessing....more
**spoiler alert** I had never read a Jackie Collins novel until I was sent this one to review and was expecting a Jilly Cooperesque romp! Instead whils**spoiler alert** I had never read a Jackie Collins novel until I was sent this one to review and was expecting a Jilly Cooperesque romp! Instead whilst there was plenty of romping I was introduced to a colourful cast of characters headed by Lucky and Lennie Santangelo in a fast paced thriller. Lucky Santangelo is in charge of her life, things are going well - until her Father Gino is murdered execution style. Whilst in the past he has had his moments he had been happily settled with his younger wife Paige and so Lucky sets about discovering the culprit and taking her revenge! After all no-one messes with the Santangelos!
Meanwhile Max, her daughter, is busy becoming the new face of a famous fashion house despite being surrounded by a lecherous boss and photographer. Bobby her son has his own problems when in the process of opening his new club he finds himself accused of murder.
There are a whole host of supporting cast members with their own desires to extricate themselves from one another. Pablo want to escape Alejandro. Denver, Bobby's girlfriend is trying to prosecute a notorious drug dealer and putting her job before him. Willow, just wants another moment in the spotlight and is being hassled by her money hungry mother. Billy, a famous film star who has the hots for anything that moves and Venus, Lucky's friend.
There are plenty of others and the action moves swiftly. The first few chapters introduce us to the various character groups, useful for the uninitiated, and from there the stories start to weave together as the characters cross paths in their search for stardom, business deals and love. The settings are drawn well and the characters drive the plot along at a fast pace!
I wasn't sure how the various characters would come together but as the story progresses they interweave and you find yourself going AHA. Lucky is the character holding it all together and even as she plans her Fathers funeral, tries to get her arrested son freed from prison and get his sister back from Europe in time for the funeral she has the sense that something isn't right! Is she correct to have such foreboding and if so will she manage to solve the problem in time? I couldn't possibly say. Perfect for fans of quick paced summer reading!...more
**spoiler alert** This in an interesting story on a similar bent to the Tom Ripley stories. Henry is a writer, at least that is what everyone thinks.**spoiler alert** This in an interesting story on a similar bent to the Tom Ripley stories. Henry is a writer, at least that is what everyone thinks. He laps up the attention and deals with the media and takes the spoils a multi-bestselling author enjoys. The brains behind the operation however is his quiet wife Martha, who does not want to have any attention and gets on with her writing at night, endlessly churning out new stories. Henry has a problem, he has a mistress, she happens to be his editor Betty - and the mistress is pregnant and he needs to make his problem go away, so naturally his answer to this is to push her car off a cliff making it look like an accident.
This proves to start him unravelling as the occupant of the car was in fact his wife, and when his mistress turns up on his doorstep distraught he has to do some quick thinking. With the end of his new novel now last and his publishing house reliant upon him to steer them out of the red Henry is in a pickle. Not only this but one particular police officer isn't buying his story. Henry seems to talk and charm his way out of trouble, eliminating other problems as they arise, some times with a little help from his friends. To us his actions may seem outrageous but to him they are perfectly natural. Indeed even destroying his house to rid himself of a marten that has taken up residence seems perfectly plausible!
There is plenty of black humour and well observed characterisation throughout the story and you are always sure that Henry is about to be found out as his facade slips every now and again, but with quirks of fate and his money to fall back on to get himself out of trouble Henry manages to wriggle out of the problems much of the time! This is the first novel from the German author and well worth a read....more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this which bowls along at a fast pace. The main idea is that Gemma and Dan want to get their feet on the housing ladder. T**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this which bowls along at a fast pace. The main idea is that Gemma and Dan want to get their feet on the housing ladder. They have a budget and know what they want and when Gemma falls in love with Pebble cottage and Dan agrees the adventure begins. Unfortunately not all is plain sailing and after agreeing to a price they can't really afford they agree to end up moving back in with Dan's Mother. She herself is an amusing character an author made famous from her books denouncing men following a bitter divorce with Dan's emotionally aloof father who is now falling for a new man herself. Should she follow her heart or give up on love for the sake of her career. Meanwhile Gemma and Dan are finding their relationship stretched thanks to squeaky bed, strange culinary concoctions and the re-ermegence of Alex, Gemma's first love, the increasing complications thrown up by the vendors of Pebble Cottage seem to spell disaster! Rich is doing little to help the situation, the estate agent who fancies himself as a bit of a player and bad communicator. Then there is the ad agency where Gemma works also full of colourful characters! Dilemmas come to a head when Alex becomes more brazen and Pebble Cottage less and less likely to exchange. Will Dan and Gemma have a happy ending - you'll have to read it and find out! Well worth a look and perfect for your beach bag or a pick me up!...more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, it was certainly a thrilling read with many strand being woven together into an intriguing conclusion. I have n**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, it was certainly a thrilling read with many strand being woven together into an intriguing conclusion. I have no idea if the events portrayed are accurate for Russian history but the book has an air of authenticity about it. It centres around agents and murders of children, one of which he is ordered to close. However he soon discovers that there are many other cases with similar characteristics. In the world of reporting those who disobey those in charge Leo and his wife Rasia soon find themselves denounced and on the run. With Leo's arch enemy Vasily hot on their tails things become desperate. With things looking grim for their future Leo and Raisa who have both seen plenty of blood shed decide to see the case through despite their own predicament! Russia is portrayed as brutal and unfair and you are never sure who will triumph in this battle. A good read now with film tie-in!...more