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Every Little Thing By Samantha Young

Every Little Thing‘Every Little Thing’ is the second book in the ‘Harts Boardwalk’ series and I found it to be even as enjoyable as the debut novel, ‘The One Real Thing’.

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content – her successful business, a close circle of friends and her steady boyfriend . . . even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy. Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats. Once Vaughn begins to realise he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.

In this book, we meet outspoken B&B owner Bailey and Vaughan, a hotelier millionaire who seem to hate each other’s guts. Their personalities seem to bring out the worst in each other, trading insults and jabs that leave them both feeling bad. Unknown to Bailey, Vaughan is drawn to her, he’s attracted to her fiery nature but has always kept her at a distance preferring to pretend to dislike her rather than admit his true feelings. Meanwhile, Bailey has committed her life to a ten year relationship with her boyfriend Tom, a man who has refused to fully commit, he’s held back on moving in together until one day, Bailey comes home to find him having sex with another woman. Heartbroken and regretful that she she wasted ten years of her life, she reluctantly begins a single life until Vaughan rescues her when her B&B is broken into.

Suddenly she finds herself looking at Vaughan in a different light, he’s no longer the man that she hated but the man who gives her new lust for life and so they embark on a passionate affair but Vaughan breaks it off when it all becomes too intense and Bailey old hatred returns.

This book is passionate and saucy read that really ignites the pages. Bailey is an outspoken and hard working woman who hates being drawn to Vaughan, who she sees as a pampered man who was born into wealth and goes against everything she stands for. But, after one heated night together, she finds it impossible to stay away. Vaughan, is an old fashioned gentleman, he’s charismatic with a genuine love for Bailey, he’s witty and knows how to make her reacts, so scenes with the two of them vary from entertaining, tender to passionate.

The chapters alternate between the characters and this is quite nice, as it really shows how their emotions change and how the dynamics of the relationship work between them, as Bailey is used to being in control and now Vaughan has taken that away from her.

Entertaining and charming from the start, the story is packed with sizzling characters as well as a hot plot line with fiery dialogue and plus the return of characters from the first book, ‘Every Little Thing’ is a saucy and fun read that made for entertaining reading.

You can buy Every Little Thing (Hart’s Boardwalk) from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

How Not To Fall In Love Actually By Catherine Bennetto

How Not To Fall In Love Actually‘How Not To Fall In Love Actually’ is the latest book by Catherine Bennetto.

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it. Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless.

‘How Not To Fall In Love Actually’ is a deliciously fun story that had me giggling throughout the Easter holidays.

In this story, we meet Emma George, who discovers that she’s pregnant. Unhappy with life, she ditches her scam artist boyfriend Ned, who’s constantly looking to discover the next big thing and she leaves her job as a television assistant.

Single, with no money, she finds herself living in the house, that her recently deceased grandmother left her in her will, with a drunk stranger living as her lodger and her new job is chaperone on a zombie apocalypse film with her cheeky cousin, Archie.

I absolutely loved this story, Catherine’s writing is a breath of fresh air, she’s writes with wit and honesty that truly made for genuinely funny reading.

Emma is a wonderful character, she’s bright and outspoken with a fun side. She tackles her unexpected pregnancy courageously and instead of settling in life, she prepares for parenthood alone.

The characters along with Emma are wonderfully entertaining, from her opinionated mother who constantly feels like she is being let down, to her nosy neighbour Harriet. As well as the addition of the handsome and kind Joe, who Emma takes pity on when he finds his fiancee cheating.

Packed with humour and plenty of laugh out loud moments, ‘How Not To Fall In Love Actually’ is a deliciously fun and charming story that had me laughing throughout, filled with twists and turns, this book is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane.

You can buy How Not to Fall in Love, Actually from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Reunion By Roisin Meaney

The Reunion‘The Reunion’ is the latest book by Irish author, Roisin Meaney.

Caroline, now a successful knitwear designer, spends her time flying between her business in England and her lover in Italy. As far as she’s concerned, her school days, and what happened to her the year she left, should stay in the past. Eleanor, meanwhile, is unrecognisable from the fun-loving girl she was in school. With a son who is barely speaking to her, and a husband keeping a secret from her, revisiting the past is the last thing on her mind. But when an unexpected letter arrives for Caroline in the weeks before the reunion, memories are stirred. Will the sisters find the courage to return to the town where they grew up and face what they’ve been running from all these years?

This is actually the first book I’ve read by Roisin and it was such a lovely introduction to the Irish author.

In this book, we meet sisters Caroline and Eleanor just at the moment that Caroline receives an invite to her secondary school reunion which brings her back to a difficult time in her life.

The book is spilt into two parts, the first part is set in the 1990’s whilst part two moves forward to 2015 and the chapters alternate between the sisters as they both deal with different dramas in their lives.

In 1993, Caroline is raped by a family friend and confides in her mother, instead of being there for her during this traumatic time, her mother ships her off to England for an abortion to live with her mother’s cousin, Florence. Caroline is totally against the abortion and instead decides to carry the baby full term and to put it up for adoption whilst staying with Florence. Florence is a rough and ready type of person, who takes no nonsense but has a huge heart and is there for Caroline. She’s a traditional woman with little needs who fled Ireland many years ago and has an eclectic group of friends who distract Caroline from her pregnancy and fears. Back in Ireland, her younger sister Eleanor, is grieving for her older sister and her first boyfriend who had just dumped her. Bitter and unhappy, Eleanor is determined to move on and find a new love.

The story alternates from the narrative of both sisters as they deal with the troubles of life, with Caroline, it’s the guilt of giving her only child away and with Eleanor, it’s a tragedy of losing a child in an accident and not being able to move on.

Warmly written with a collection of entertaining and kind characters, this book was a lovely introduction to the Irish author. The story tackles the stigma of teenage pregnancy and how it was handled back in rural Ireland, in the 1990s, the shame that it brought on the family. The girls mother is a terribly hard hearted woman who’s primary concern is her appearance and what other people think. She can’t bear the thought of a teenage pregnancy and even when Caroline confides in her about the rape, she almost blames her for the attack.

The book travels neatly between the sisters and their stories weave together in a fluid manner. Engaging from the very start, this story was charming and a delight to read. Filled with drama and second chances, ‘The Reunion’ is a wonderful tale.

You can buy The Reunion from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Our Little Secret By Claudia Carroll

Our Little Secret ‘Our Little Secret’ is the latest book by bestselling Irish author, Claudia Carroll.

Sarah Dee has the perfect life. A high-flying job in a law firm, a beautiful daughter and a house to die for. So how does she find herself looking in through the kitchen window while another woman enjoys it all?
When Sarah takes pity on a struggling young graduate who can’t get a job, she thinks she’s doing the right thing. She’s being kind, generous and helpful to others, as she always is. But as Sarah allows the younger woman into her home, her law firm and even her family, is there more to this pretty youngster than meets the eye? And could this be a good deed that goes further than expected?

Claudia is back is another gripping and heart warming book, filled with her familiar mix of entertaining characters and Irish charm.

In this book, we meet three females. Sarah, her daughter Darcy and her best friend Liz. Sarah, is a single mother, who’s marriage recently split up. She’s a busy solicitor and her job and do-gooding takes up a lot of her time much to the annoyance of her only teenage daughter, Darcy, who spends a lot of her time mad at the world and mad at Sarah. Whilst, Liz has been Sarah’s friend for years, been there through the bad times and provides much entertainment in the story.

One day, Sarah meets Lauren, a trainee beautician who confides in Sarah that she is actually a qualified solicitor and is desperate to get into a firm. With a huge heart and kind spirit, Sarah takes it upon herself to train Lauren into being the best intern possible when a job becomes available at her practice. But, Sarah doesn’t stop at finding Lauren the perfect job, she also invites her to live in her house and start living the life she always dreamt off.

Lauren’s life has been far from perfect, orphaned and broke, she’s scrabbled and saved all her life, wanting to make a better life for herself. Sarah immediately falls for Lauren and her maternal instinct kicks in, she takes Lauren in under her wing and wants to help those poor unfortunate woman out who’s had such a hard life but her best friend Liz, is dubious about Lauren and her story and this causes tension between the two friends. Meanwhile, Darcy is going through a difficult time, still reeling from her parents separation, experimenting with drink and boys and is feeling peer pressure to fit in. She enjoys Lauren’s company, she sees her as an older sister, being fun whilst offering advice when Sarah isn’t around.

As the story progresses, it gets quite darker, as Lauren settles in, Sarah becomes uncertain of her new friend and begins to wonder if she was lied to, as Lauren regularly oversteps the mark, in both professional and personal life.

The story is seen through three narratives and all three voices made for interesting reading. Sarah is a kind woman who is always looking out for the underdog, when she meets Lauren she’s determined to help her get a better life and it’s interesting how the tables turn in the relationship. Once confident and happy, she becomes uncertain and wonders if her bolshy outspoken friend was right about her opinions, as Lauren tries to take over all aspects of her life. Liz tries to bite her lip, but she has serious doubts about Lauren and this really affects their friendship. She is sharp witted and scenes with her really did make for funny reading. Whilst Darcy, adds an element of vulnerability to the tale, her innocence and desire for her parents to get back together does make for sweet reading.

Another cleverly written tale that holds the readers attention from page one. Seamlessly alternating between drama, humour and filled with Irish wit and banter that had me giggling throughout, Claudia has delivered a wonderfully thrilling and observational tale about friendship, female relationships and questions whether you always believe everything that you are told.

You can buy Our Little Secret from Amazon from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Couple Next Door By Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door ‘The Couple Next Door’is the latest book by Shari Lapena and was awarded ‘WH Smith Book of the Year 2016’.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone. You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

Last year there was an awful lot of talk about ‘The Couple Next Door’ on social media, people were singing its praises and I was really curious to see what all the hype was about, so when it came next on my TBR pile, I grabbed it with both hands.

The story is about Marcus and Anne, a married couple with a 6 month old baby called Cora. On a rare night out and unable to get a babysitter, they leave Cora in their house next door and bring the baby monitor with them checking on her every half hour. But, it’s on their return that they discover that Cora has been snatched.

The story then follows as the couple become the prime suspects in the case, as the press and police point the finger of blame at them, particularly at them leaving their baby alone. As the story progresses, we delve deeper into the couples lives, the stress of both emotional and financial as parents and adjust to their new lives.

The book is cleverly written in a third person narrative and reads like an observation of both Anne and Marcus. It flows quickly between both of them as they struggle with being in the spotlight and trying to piece together their last moments with Cora. Both are complex characters, both with secrets that they have hidden from each other but as the story flows and the police investigate more, secrets are revealed and more people are convinced that they are involved.

Marcus has always felt inadequate to Anne’s family, they never really approved of him and show their true colours with Cora’s disappearance by making him feel unwanted and unloved whilst Anne struggles with post natal depression, she’s terrified she did something and blocked it out. An interesting addition to the tale is inclusion of the story being seen from the perspective of the detective, giving an insight to the police procedure.

With a fast paced story that keeps the reader on their toes and thoroughly engaged. ‘The Couple Next Door’ is a cunningly written tale, filled with unlikable and occasionally sympathetic characters plus plenty of suspects. Packed with tension, twists and a hell of an ending, this book is must definitely worthy of all the hype!

You can buy The Couple Next Door from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.