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Just for the Holidays: Sue Moorcroft

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Book Blurb

In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy. Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.

But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…

Book Review

I loved The Christmas Promise (what wasn’t to love) so when I spotted Sue had written another and something set in France it was a sure fired bet I was going to be quick off the mark in adding it to my TBR pile. In fact it shot right to the top but, shush don’t tell anyone.

A mille-feuille read.

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For those who may not know, mille-feuille is the term for those French layered pastries the British have stolen all in the name of the custard slice. A custard slice is not a mille-feuille but that’s for another blog post.  In the context of this review mille-feuille means thousand leaves (layers) and, as this is a book of many parts… It’s also a book where chocolate features heavily so as an analogy it’s staying!

Here we have a family, an extended family in crisis. A broken marriage, no – two broken marriages. Three grieving children. A broken man and a pretty messed up woman. Throw them together in a gite in Alsace along with a car called ‘The Pig’ and there’s bound to be fun, frolics and quite a few tears. I raced through this, if not in one sitting then two. There are gems I’m not going to forget “you cougar” and words that I’m obvs going to have to add to my vocabulary “I fink”. I just loved it, every single word and now… and now I can’t wait until Christmas for her next one.

Available to pre-order here

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The New Beginnings Coffee Club: Sam Tonge 5⭐️

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Book Blurb

Jenny Masters finds herself living the modern dream. Wife to a millionaire, living in a mansion and mother to Kardashian-obsessed ten-year-old April, there isn’t anything missing. Until, her whole world comes crashing down, forcing Jenny and April to leave behind their glittering life and start over with nothing.

With village gossip following her wherever she goes, she finds refuge and a job in the new coffee shop in town. As the days pass Jenny fears she doesn’t have what it takes to pick herself back up and give April the life she always wanted to. But with the help of enigmatic new boss Noah, and housemate Elle, Jenny realises it’s never too late to become the woman life really intended you to be!

Available to pre-order here Out May 5th

My review

As a writer I read, I read a lot. I read all sorts and not just books. Last week I was reading an article by a literary editor written in 2015 about book trends (can’t remember her name) She said the 4 trends were still strong going into 2016:

Murders, psychological thrillers, dystopian and the cupcake brigade.

Up until reading Sam’s latest I’d unconsciously slotted her works into the light fluffy cupcake gang. Well she’s written about cakes (Game of Scones) and what do coffee shops do if not sell cakes? She even has the market cornered on cool Poldark like figures with more sex appeal than a whole counter full of muffins.

But I was wrong…

Sam Tonge has shifted up a gear or two with her latest and, as a reader I’m delighted she’s made the move. Her writing has always been strong, her ideas original and her understanding of what makes people tick worthy of a PHD in psychology.

Sam has shifted from a cupcake writer to a brave  one. A writer who puts their head above the parapet to address social issues.  Addressing, through the medium of paper social issues that some readers may struggle with is brave.

But where would we be without groundbreaking writers? Yes, reading light and fluffy is fine but actually life isn’t light and fluffy. Whilst there may not be a murderer on every corner or a dystopian future set to start in 2018 there are day to day challenges people have to live with, day to day struggles that most people don’t take the time to bother with, wrapped up as they are in their own particular slice of life.

Bravo Sam, an excellent 5⭐️ read –  I look forward to more in this vein.

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Don’t Let Go: Michel Bussi

A book destined for the Big Screen

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Blurb

Picture the scene – an idyllic resort on the island of Réunion. Martial and Liane Bellion are enjoying the perfect moment with their six-year-old daughter. Turquoise skies, clear water, palm trees, a warm breeze…

Then Liane Bellion disappears. She went up to her hotel room between 3 and 4pm and never came back. When the room is opened, it is empty, but there is blood everywhere. An employee of the hotel claims to have seen Martial in the corridor during that crucial hour.

Then Martial also disappears, along with his daughter. An all-out manhunt is declared across the island. But is Martial really his wife’s killer? And if he isn’t, why does he appear to be so guilty?

My Review

Black Water Lilies was my fav read of 2016, no question and I did read over 300 books…

So when I saw that MB was about to release another through Orion I hopped over the NetGalley for an early read just because I could. I was heading to France for Easter and what better place to read a book by one of France’s most popular writer?

I was at page five and I didn’t like it. I have this rule that I live by. If I don’t get past page five I give up. There are just too many other books. But that day sitting on a beach in St Cast I learnt a lesson, a huge lesson because this is just one of  those books. Trying to analyse my initial reaction I think I got confused. Black Water Lilies is set in Normandy and, as I’d never heard of Renunion I assumed I was in French France and not the Indian Ocean. It took me a while to wrap my head around the cultural and indeed writing differences but when ‘I finally got it’ the pages flew by.

The recent influx of psychological kitchen sink thrillers isn’t my bag. I usually guess and, after I’ve guessed I get bored. This is well plotted, highly unusual and the ending is sublime, more than sublime. I loved the ending so much that I can already see it translated over to the big screen. If ever there was a book that would make a fantastic movie this is it. It has everything. Great writing. A cracking plot. Romance. Murder. Relationships. A French African Miss Marple…