Best friends Michelle and Tamsin are inseparable and are more like sisters than friends, which is why when someone claims that Michelle husband Patrick has a reputation for sleeping around; Tamsin sticks her nose in where it does not belong.

Being close to Patrick and Michelle, Tamsin could not have it out with them, in fact she needed proof and with the help of her assistant Bea they come up with a fool proof plan to trap Patrick – a honey trap.

Tamsin is relived when the woman in the honey trap reports back that Patrick is faithful but when Patrick and Tamsin end up having sex, she begins to question him.

Is Patrick really telling the truth about being faithful or is he putting on a front?

Tamsin is determined to find out as no one messes around with her Michelle -detective Tamsin to the rescue.

I was not sure about this book when I started reading as typical romances are not my thing, however I thought this book deserved to be tried and the more I read it, the more I got into it.

There are a few characters that are developed well.

Tamsin – a single lady who works in tv production

Michelle – the doting wife who adores Patrick and would like a family with him.

Bea – Tamsin assistant and close friend who Bea would do anything for, or would she?

Patrick – Also works in TV, wife of Michelle who he loves.

Despite being a romance book, Strictly Between Us had many twists and turns, including the ending. In fact, the ending niggles me a slightly but that is probably the sign of a good book!

Some of the chapters are told from another point of view and when this is done it fills in some gaps very well.

Strictly Between Us is a great read and I would recommend it.

Miranda meets Bridget Jones

 

The Date my Daughter campaign was in full swing on the London Underground, thanks to Kate’s mother.

Kate was horrified, especially as the picture she used was one a mother would love. It wasn’t like she was old, she was only 29, an accountant living in London. Yes meeting a man would be nice but Kate was quite happy.

However to stop her mum from pimping her out or arranging a marriage for her, Kate agrees with her best friend Mark to give dating a proper go.  After all her mother wanted Kate to be happy.

After a few terrible dates Kate wonders what’s the point? She’s kissing all these frogs but no prince has arrived, but is the Prince right under her nose?

I am always sceptical when reviews tell me that a book is entertaining and funny, however Kissing Frogs turned out to be a very enjoyable read.

Kissing Frogs has an element of Miranda vs Bridget Jones, the author made me laugh within the first page of the book, this then kept me engaged to read the whole book.

The plot itself was very predictable but for me I kept reading as I wanted to see how it would pan out and I am very glad I did.

The characterisation was very good, the only thing I would say is that I think the Mark character is a bit over the top and sometimes I felt he could be quite controlling and to in your face. There were occasions when I felt a bit worried for Kate but I knew that Mark had her best interests at heart. I also felt that the author did not mean to write him that way and wanted him to be funny, so we could see what Kate was missing out on.

Therefore, definitely add this book to your reading list.

A lovely heart-warming, funny romance story, great for Winter reading! Cosy up to this book as the nights draw in, with a hot chocolate!

 

Book 3 of the Noughts and Crosses series

The story picks up from where it left off. Callie-Rose is a bit older now and we welcome back the old characters  – Sephy, Meggie, Jasmine and we see the introduction of some new characters.

As Callie-Rose gets older she starts asking questions about her Dad, who was he? Was she like him? How did she die? But tensions rise in the Sephy-Meggie household when Sephy lies and comes out with that Callum was a gardener instead of who he really was.

Sephy had the best intentions as she wanted to protect her daughter, however when someone gets in there with their version of the “truth” Callie turns to the Liberation Militia thanks to her Uncle Jude to finish what her father started.

Convinced that Uncle Jude is the only one who tells her the truth, Callie agrees to carry out the mission he had planned for her. Being young Callie is a bit naïve, she really believes Uncle Jude, unfortunately, Jude’s soul of full of hate, it is something he will never pass and although he tries to love he just can’t. The world has destroyed him. Does Jude want a relationship with Callie or is he just using her?

As we continue to follow Callie-Rose’s life we see her relationship with her Mum, Sephy, her boyfriends and her place in the society as Callie-Rose is neither Cross nor Nought. Her best friend Tobey has got her back, and although he succeeds in winding her up, she confides in him about her life. They even go to the same Cross high school together – Tobey had gotten a scholarship whilst Callie’s Nana Jasmine paid for her school fees.

When Sephy discovers Callie- Rose’s plan, she confides in her mother. Jasmine takes matters into her own hands. Now a devoted mother and grandmother, Jasmine is determined to get Sephy and Callie’s relationship back on track by locking them in the cellar. Will Sephy finally reveal the truth to Callie?

Meanwhile the Nana’s hatch a plan to save Callie from the LM. Jasmine will do whatever it takes to ensure Callie is happy and safe. She knows that if Callie ends up in the LM it will only lead to danger after all Jude is bitter and twisted.

Jasmine knows that she doesn’t have long on this earth but she must protect her Granddaughter at all costs, even if she does confront the LM with the bomb Callie made.

Checkmate is book 3 of the Noughts and Crosses series. Sometimes it can be tricky to come up with an engaging storyline when it is book number 3, but Checkmate delivers on every occasion.

I love the fact that we see the characters growing up and how they deal with life. I feel like Sephy has got wiser as she has got older and although she has not done right by telling her daughter what really happened, her heart is in the right place. We feel a bit sorry for Sephy as she has been through a lot and although her relationship with Callie is hanging by a thread, she meets someone! After all these years Sephy finally lets Callum go…

Please note that due to some of the content, it might not be suitable for young readers like the previous book where. However, if your children insist, I would recommend asking you as a parent to read it first.

The True Story of Lale Sokolov

Lale Sokolov – a Jew living in Slovakia; arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, in April 1942. He gave himself in, hoping that his family would be spared; unfortunately, only his sister survived.

When Lale arrived at the camp, he saw how awful people were being treated, some people were randomly shot, killed and starved.

One day Lale contracted an illness, it was thought that he would not survive but Pepan the Tattooist managed to get some medicine and nurse Lale back to health, without the Nazi’s realising. (If the Nazi’s had noticed they probably would have killed Lale)

When Lale was better, he was told to be Pepan assistant, which is where he learnt how to tattoo the prisoner’s number onto them.

One day Pepan did not turn up for work, no one knew what had happened to him, whether he was shipped out or shot but Lale became the sole tattooist.

Lale became busy with tattooing, it was a job that he hated but if he knew that he must do it to survive. One of the prisoner’s arm felt delicate and made him look up, it was love at first sight for Lale, as Gitas eyes shone brightly.

From then on, Lale knew he would survive, his job came with perks, such as extra food rations, he would sneak these to his friends and Gita to help keep them alive.

Through the horrors of the camp, Lale did his best to help others and above all found the love of his life.

A definite read for your reading list!

Callum is a Nought, Sephy is a Cross; the two of them become best friends in a society where they should not be.

It’s simple really Crosses and Noughts do not mix, they stick to their own and if they mix then trouble brews.

The Crosses tend to rule the world, while the Noughts stand by reluctantly, for example, Noughts were not allowed to go to school until recently.

Sephy is the daughter of a powerful politician and never has to worry about money again. Callum is just a lowly nought, scraping by

As the years go by, Sephy and Callum’s relationship turns into passionate love. In a world where Sephy and Callum would be looked down upon and penalised for mixing, they are determined to be together.

But when the bomb goes off and Callum’s family are blamed, what will Sephy do? Will she stand by him? What length will they go to, to be together?

As fighting increased between the Noughts and the Crosses there is only one thing that could happen…

When Malorie Blackman wrote this book, she was angry at how the Stephen Laurence case was handled and how as a black person she was treated. These were just a few factors that made her write this book.

It is a different and great storyline which shows how horrible people can be.

The chapters are short and sweet but that’s ok, sometimes chapters can be too long. The book is 443 pages long, a great length.

I love the way the chapter alternate, and we get to hear what life is like for both Sephy and Callum, despite their differences we still feel sorry for the both of them as Callum and Sephy have different difficulties.  We are desperate for them to be together and just when we think that is possible, something happens that drives them apart.

We are also angry at their parents for letting such differences happen, something needs to change! What Sephy and Callum cannot understand is why the Noughts and the Crossed do not get on, surely there is a way.

I read this book when I was in my teenage years and I have enjoyed revisiting Noughts and Crosses. I remembered that it was a good book but a sad one.

This book is a Young Adult and it is suitable for children aged 12 and over. However, you may want to give it a read first to check whether you think it is ok for your child as some can be quite sensitive.

In the end, Sephy has to make a hard decision, which path will she choose? Let me know if you thought that Sephy had made the right decision!

Noughts and Crossed is 1 of 4 books, so if you have enjoyed the book and would like to carry on the journey, the next book is called Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman, enjoy!

Ever since Jenny-May Butler went missing, Sandy has been obsessed with finding mislaid things, so much that she ends up running a missing person’s agency.

Jack Ruttle’s brother Donal has been missing for over a year, desperate to find answers he enlists Sandy to find Donal. Through late night phone calls, Jack and Sandy’s relationship begins to develop but when Sandy fails to turn up to their arranged meeting, something did not sit right with Jack.

When Jack finds her phone, wallet and personal belonging he starts to worry and tracks down immediate family and friends, who all say that this is normal ‘Sandy’ behaviour. Jack, on the other hand is not convinced, can Jack find Sandy and is she ok?

Sandy finds herself in a place that she does not recognise, she is indeed ‘lost.’

She befriends a lady called Helena, who catches Sandy’s eye and it turns out Helena has been missing for 40 years.

Sandy has finally found it, the place where all the missing and lost items and people go. A place no one can leave… Will Sandy’s obsession help her get back home? Will she reunite families?

This book for me has so many unanswered questions, for example, the place where the missing things go – what is this place? Is it heaven or a parallel universe?

It surely is an interesting book, which at first, I was a bit unsure about. I was beginning to get bored when the storyline took an interesting turn, that kept me reading on to the end.

I also find that Ceceila describes very well but they are a bit long, but it does help to build the scene.

I found the ending a bit abrupt and felt that there was room for quite a few chapters, however, perhaps that was the author’s intention? It does lay good foundations for a sequel.

I rate this book 10/12 as it is a very well written with an interesting storyline, but for me, they are many questions that need to be answered.

At the age of 7, Rachel was taken from her family and sent to live on Kalaupapa, on the remote Island of Moloka’I, here she was sent to die as she had contracted leprosy, but her life was just beginning.

Rachel Kalama had a happy childhood; her father was away at sea a lot and often brought Rachel and her family gifts. Her mother deeply cared for her and her brothers and sisters.

It was known that Leprosy was doing the rounds, the symptoms were rose coloured patches and if stabbed with a pin, the person would not feel it.

When Rachel first began showing signs, her mother tried her best to conceal it, until of course she was found out. Therefore, at the age of 7, Rachel was packed off to Kalaupapa.

Rachel was devastated, especially as it was expensive for Rachel’s family to visit. She lived in the home, cared for by nurses and developed a strong friendship with them.

As we follow Rachel’s journey we watch her find love, friendship, loss and triumph as she does her best to get off the Island. Rachel vowed that one day she will make it back home to her family.

However not everyone died of leprosy straight away, some people lasted years and Kalaupapa became a community with fighting spirit.

Moloka’I is based on a true story.  Yes, people did believe that putting affected people into quarantine was the answer and it seemed to work as the leprosy cases became less and less.

The author, Alan Brennert has done lots of research to ensure the storyline is authentic.

I found this book hard to get into at first, as the first part is setting the scenes, characters and story; I wasn’t sure where the storyline was going but as I continued it just became better.

They say the sign of a good book is one that can make you cry and I certainly did.

Well, Cecelia Ahern, you have you done it again! You have made me cry (happy tears I promise)

The first book I ever read by Cecelia was PS I Love You and I could not finish it; not because it was bad or terrible but because it was so full of emotion, passion and connection with the characters that each page I turned flooded with tears.

However, this is not the book that I am reviewing today, the book I would like to talk to you about is ‘Thank you for the memories’

The blurb is what drew me to the book, along with a beautifully designed cover. Intrigued I picked It up and began to read it a day later.

Joyce an estate agent, remembers things that she shouldn’t. She is fluent in 3 different languages that she does not remember learning, as well as things like art and architecture.

After her accident, Joyce’s friends and family were worried about her. Her marriage broke down and at 33 years old she had to move back in with her Dad.

Justin Hitchcock is a divorced man who is lonely, he moved from America to England to be closer to his daughter.

One day Justin and Joyce meet by chance and suddenly Joyce gets the feeling of Déjà vu.

What has happened to Joyce and will her path cross with Justin’s again?

If you think that this book is a typical romance, think again! There are many twists to keep you guessing and thinking come on!

I have to say that this is probably the best book that I have read this year. I have never laughed so much. The characters and the emotion surrounding them feel very real. Cecelia has a real way with word,

My favourite character must be Joyce’s Dad, Henry. He comes out with the funniest things. He lost his wife but was still close with his daughter Joyce whom he clearly loves. Despite his loss, he is full of life and I just love his way with words.

Thank you for the Memories is a must on your reading list and 12 Books gives this novel, 12 out of 12!

 

 

 

 

Join Ana and Christian as the tale continues in the second book out of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Ana Steele, an Assistant to Editor Jack Hyde; embarks on her new career alone; however, when Mr Grey approaches Ana with a different contract, how can she resist?

From psychotic ex-submissive, to crashing helicopter; this book will have you constantly hanging and when Grey is forced to deal with his demons a whole new can of worms begins to open up!

Why I adored this book

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I even think this is better than the first. It is more action packed and EL James manages to keep your interest up.

I liked learning about the different character and watching them evolve. Ana in my mind is a strong character, someone to stand up to Christian. Learning about Christian past brings the character to life a bit more.

One of my favourite parts is the emails; I love the banter that they have between them and my favourite line which I hope to use one day is: “You don’t have the power to do that Christian, do you?”

What I did not relish

There was a lot of action in this book and it occurred in a short space of time. I guess it seemed a little bit unrealistic and in reality, it should have happened over a longer period of time; however, as my lovely husband points out thing happen in films that are unrealistic and my response is to him “It’s just a film.”

I can’t believe Mr Grey bought a SIP, the place where Ana works – I think that is a tad over the top, although this may be a reflection of his character.

Again the naughty parts began to bore me a bit, however, this time around it seemed there was a bit more variety to it so I didn’t mind it so much in this one.

Also, there appeared to be a lot of repetitive eye rolling, threatened to be spanked and declaring undying love for one another. It started to get on my nerves a bit as I already knew how they feel about each other and although we know Christian struggles with his feeling, we the reader can see what is happening.

How this book could have been improved

I would have liked to see more of Ana’s friends, as she seemed to have abandoned them apart from Kate who was on holiday. I think it was quite weird for Kate boyfriend to join her on holiday when they’d only just met as well – it was only for two weeks, couldn’t they wait?

It is also rare for two best friends to find love together, although it can happen Christian sister wants to get together with Ethan? Isn’t that a bit weird? Bordering on incest – ok I know it’s not as they are not related but it just seems incredibly bizarre to me; especially if Kate and Elliot get married.

And what has happened to Jose? I would have thought Ana and Kate would have stayed in touch via email or phone; she seems to have cut him out of her friendship circle; if Jose made Ana uncomfortable then she didn’t show it.

Therefore without the action, realistic or not the book would be boring! The storyline was very enjoyable and kept me thoroughly intrigued.

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