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Louis And Louise By Julie Cohen

Louis and Louise‘Louis and Louise’ is the latest book by Julie Cohen.

Louis and Louise are the same person born in two different lives. They are separated only by the sex announced by the doctor and a final ‘e’. They have the same best friends, the same red hair, the same dream of being a writer, the same excellent whistle. They both suffer one catastrophic night, with life-changing consequences. Thirteen years later, they are both coming home.

The latest story from Julie Cohen is a complex tale of family dynamics and relationships and is seen from a dual narrative of one child growing up and in one instance is female and in another is male and explores the issues and pressures of life whilst growing up in a small town and being part of a wealthy family.

The story flows in past and present tense and is seen through the eyes of Louise/Louis and reflects how differently their lives have turned out, dependent on their sexes, their decisions and the paths they have chosen in life. Louise has always wanted to be a writer, but she became a single mother at a young age and became a teacher instead giving up her dream to become an author. Meanwhile, Louis has enjoyed his success as an author, but has seen relationships fall apart around him. When both Louis and Louise return home because of their mother’s health, they have to face old ghosts and dredge up old memories.

I’ve really come to enjoy Julie’s writing and her previous book, ‘Together’ was such a sad story that left me in bits when I reached the final page.

This is a lovely story, it’s tenderly written and flows at a nice pace, gathering momentum with each turn. Both Louis and Louise are relatable and poignant characters, who both have secrets that they left behind in their small town, as the story progresses, we see them confront them and grow confident. The dual narrative from both characters is a clever twist to the story, which keeps the reader on their toes, as both aspects are so different to the sex.

Their relationships with parents are complicated and both escaped to get away from family conflicts, but I did find Louise’s story particularly hard as, she seemed to experience the most pressure and disappointment from the pair of them.

A story of hardship, forgiveness and the pressures of life, ‘Louis and Louise’ is an emotional and powerful story that examines the universal issues of life and how differently they can impact a person dependant on their gender.

You can buy ‘Louis and Louise’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

A Budding Romance Book Tour – Extract

Wildflower ParkCelebrate Valentines’ Day with an extract from Bella Osborne’s second book in the ‘Wildflower Park’ series called ‘A Budding Romance’.

After a hearty farmhouse breakfast, the farmer announced the morning’s exercise was at a nearby reservoir, which received a mixed response. When the minibus pulled up Hudson was quick to jump in and take the seat next to Anna and she was pleased to see Liam had spotted the gesture. Sophie had also noticed and was giving Anna pleading looks to swap places.

‘I get sick if I don’t sit near the front,’ said Sophie, and she pointed at Anna’s seat.

Anna’s shoulders sagged. Sophie wasn’t helping herself with the Hudson crush if she was going to seize every opportunity to be near him. Although Anna had to admit he did smell mighty fine this morning.

‘It’s okay, I’ll move,’ said Anna, seeing the plea in Sophie’s eyes.

Sophie was about to sit down when Karl stuck his head inside the van. ‘Can I sit at the front too? I hate these things and I might have overdone it on the wine last night. Gippy tummy,’ he said, giving it a rub.

‘Sure,’ said Hudson, and he followed Anna to the back seat where they giggled like love-struck teenagers until Sophie spun around and glared at the pair of them. Anna clamped her lips together to try to stifle the giggles. She glanced at Hudson and he winked at her. For a moment she forgot they were pretending.

Carsington Water was impressive and the weather was far kinder today with a light breeze and a little sunshine glinting off the water making it sparkle and look more inviting than it should. They were introduced to Canadian canoes and got into teams of three while Karl perfected his impression of Roberta by asking ‘Who’s in my canoe?’ Anna was with Priya and Hudson and they had to work together to keep in rhythm.

‘Priya, you don’t need to keep swapping sides with your paddle,’ complained Anna when a trail of water splashed across her back for the umpteenth time.

‘Sorry. But I want to beat Karl,’ she said, lifting her paddle out of the water to point and inadvertently splashing Anna again.

The purpose of the game was to retrieve different-coloured buoys via the shortest route whilst heading off other canoes. Most went for the nearby markers meaning they all squabbled whereas Anna steered them towards the middle-distance ones to avoid bumping into other teams, enabling them to collect their buoys and return victorious. As they were making their final turn she heard a war cry nearby and a canoe came towards them at speed. She wasn’t surprised to see Karl, Liam and Raj from Finance all with clenched teeth and paddling hard.

Hope that little teaser left you wanting more!

Don’t You Forget About Me By Mhairi MacFarlane

Don't You Forget About Me‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ is the latest book by Mhairi MacFarlane.

‘I love your laugh. x’ But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else. So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all.

After being away for a couple of years, I’m delighted to see that Mhairi is back with another book that literally had me giggling throughout.

In this book, we meet Georgina Horspool, a teenage girl who is destined for great things, smart with wit, everyone expects her to really make something of her life but sadly things don’t work out that way for her and she unfortunately become the punchline to everyone’s jokes, particularly her comedian boyfriend. But one day, she finds herself in a new job, working at the newest bar in town and her boss, is her first love called Lucas. The story then follows Georgina as she adapts to her new job with an unexpected friend in her life.

Like Mhairi’s previous books, I devoured this book in pretty much one day. I treated myself to a London adventure and spent my day with my head buried in my new Kindle on the tube or whilst admiring the view from The Shard. Georgina is a fabulous character, she’s witty, generous with a heart of gold and disastrous situations seem to follow her at every turn. With being 30, she’s feeling the pressure of not being settled, or bought a house much to the disgruntlement of her family, but she addresses their issues with brutal honesty and wit that made for delicious reading. I also absolutely fell for Lucas, the handsome Dubliner with a heart of gold and his dog called Keith.

Mhairi is a brilliant writer, her books are funny and honest but underneath the humour lies serious topics, such as bereavement, infidelity and self esteem and these issues, she handles with sensitivity and charm.

A wonderful story with a catchy title that will stay in your head, the whole you’re reading the book, ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ is a fantastically funny and witty story that will have you rolling in the aisles, with a fabulous lead and riddled with one-liners throughout, this book will brighten up anybody’s day!

You can buy Don’t You Forget About Me from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th March 2019.

No One You Know By Michelle Richmond

No One You Know‘No One You Know’ is by Michelle Richmond.

All her childhood Ellie Enderlin had lived in her sister’s shadow. But then Lily was murdered and their family changed forever. Now, decades later, Ellie comes into possession of Lila’s lost notebook and has a chance to finally discover the truth about her sister’s death. But her search for justice will lead her to uncover her sister’s darkest secrets.

I read this book one morning and was hooked to this mathematical story of lies and suspense. Told from the narrative of Ellie Enderlin who has decided to look into the case of her sister’s murder from many years, when she runs into the man who was suspected of her murder.

The story then follows Ellie as she goes on the life journey of discovering her sisters last steps as well as finding her place in life, as her sister’s death upended the suspected journey of her life.

The story is an interesting and complex story that occasionally mystified me, when the author explained complex equations as I’m more of a literature person than mathematics. When Ellie befriends her lecturer, he uses their friendship to write a bestselling crime novel about Lila’s death. Hurt at his distrust, Ellie finds herself retreating from him, but years later reconnects with him with the intention of hoping that she will finally find her sisters murderer.

The story is quite the murder mystery from the first page and Ellie is a wonderful lead. She’s fascinating with her interesting job of travelling the world to discover new coffee and having spent her life living in her sisters shadow and never quite living up to her parents expectations.

The book is written in a fast paced way that really engages the reader, particularly with all the suspicious characters that constantly appear throughout the sister. The book is set in San Francisco, a city that I visited last year, and it almost felt like I was revisiting it in this gritty story, as so many landmarks are featured throughout and it is also so wonderfully descriptive as well, that I could almost feel the San Francisco skyline around me.

Tightly plotted and cleverly written, ‘No One You Know’ is a poignant and engaging story that really keeps the reader on their toes, filled with drama and twists, this book will keep your attention throughout.

You can buy ‘No One You Know’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Books and the City Spring Blogger Event 2019

Books and the City Spring Blogger Event 2019With being based in Northern Ireland, I sometimes miss out on book events, so when the lovely Sara Jade Virture from Books and the City invited me to their Spring Bloggers event, I literally jumped on a plane.

It was a wonderful evening, packed with fellow book lovers and some of Books and the City authors and we got the chance to hear extracts from Iona Grey’s new book called ‘The Glittering Hour’, Alice Peterson’s ‘If You Were Here’, Claire Frost’s debut novel called ‘Living My Best Life’, Milly Johnson’s latest book ‘The Magnificent Mrs Mayhem’ and Rachel Hore’s new book ‘The Lost Child’.

As well as the delicious readings, we were also given proofs of Paige Toon’s new book called ‘If I Could Anywhere’ as well as Catherine Isaac’s new book called ‘Messy, Wonderful Us’.

As per usual Sara Jade’s goodie bags were a delight filled with samples from upcoming books, sweetie flavoured shower gel as well as beautiful book themed necklace and who can forget the cupcakes!

It was also lovely to chat to Louise Candlish about her hugely successful book called ‘Our House’ as well as meet Heidi Swain, Juliet Ashton and Alice Peterson, as well as I finally got a photograph with Milly Johnson.

A huge thank you to Sara Jade and the Books and the City team for organising a wonderful evening and the generous gifts.