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The Queen Of Wishful Thinking By Milly Johnson

The Queen Of Wishful Thinking‘The Queen Of Wishful Thinking’ is the latest book by Milly Johnson.

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her. As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

St Patrick’s Day saw me drop everything and curl up with Milly’s latest literary offering. In this book we meet the charming and delightful Bonnie, a woman who is unhappy in both her work and home life. Married to a controlling and patronising man, she longs for a change and when the opportunity arises for that change, she seizes it with both hands. Daring to speak out against her previous employer, Bonnie finds herself without a job but when handsome Lewis, a newcomer to the village discovers that his staff at his antique shop is stealing from him, he offers Bonnie a job.

With a few extra pound in her pocket and a spring in her step, Bonnie feels a bit happier in life, she enjoys her time with Lewis and the interaction between the two is sweet and enjoyable. Bonnie introduces Lewis to people who can make his small antiques shop thrive and the two of them embark on making ‘Pot of Gold’ the best it can possibly be.

The story flows between both Bonnie and Lewis and this is entertaining and warmhearted reading. Lewis is married to Charlotte, a vain and high maintenance woman who always wants to have the latest designer brand on her arm, demanding, she is the polar opposite to Bonnie, a kind woman with a big heart and Lewis begins to see this as the story progresses. Lewis moved away to the quiet village after his health scare and it seems that Charlotte is unable to deal with the slower pace of life, whereas Lewis has settled in marvellously.

I adored Bonnie and felt an overwhelming empathy for her as she struggled to live a better life, much older and wiser for her years, she longs to escape the controlling clutches of her dominant husband, but she feels powerless over the secret that he holds over her, until one day she finally breaks free and becomes an independent woman, creating her own little home from scratch with the help from the kind people of the village, who have all come to love Bonnie.

The relationship between Bonnie and Lewis is a sweet one, as they embark on a tentative friendship, but begin to see each other in a different light as they both deal with their emotional baggage.

Like Milly’s previous books. ’The Queen of Wishful Thinking’ is a deliciously fun and witty story, filled with humorous characters, one liners, as well as regular apologies from the local newspaper ‘Daily Trumpet’ for misprinting information, there was rarely a dull moment in this delightful story. Packed with relatable and lovable characters, that you will love and hate in rapid succession, this book was impossible to put down and the sweet inclusion of a dog called Bear who has based on Teddy, Milly’s beloved dog who passed away last year, it made for tender reading.

A book that I couldn’t put down but also didn’t want to end and is most certainly Milly at her very best. Funny, sweet and an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, ‘The Queen Of Wishful Thinking’ is a book that I could happily read, over and over again.

You can buy The Queen of Wishful Thinking from Amazon. and is available to buy from good bookshops.

An Unsuitable Marriage By Colette Dartford

An Unsuitable Marriage‘An Unsuitable Marriage’ is the latest book by Colette Dartford.

Olivia had everything – a loving husband in Geoffrey, a thoughtful and intelligent son in Edward and a beautiful home in the Somerset countryside. But all that changed when Geoffrey’s business went under. Now penniless and homeless, Geoffrey is living with his recently widowed mother, whilst Olivia has been forced to work as a housemistress at her son’s elite boarding school. With their marriage under intolerable strain, Geoffrey makes a mistake – one that has devastating consequences for the guilty and innocent alike . . .’An Unsuitable Marriage’ is an unexpected tale of drama and suspense. A story about family, who at such an important time in their lives, should be coming together but instead are moving further and further apart.

In this book, we meet Olivia, a house mistress at the local boarding school. She’s unhappy, having to leave her comfortable life behind when her husband’s business went bankrupt and they had to give up their house and they moved into her mother-in-law’s house. Rowena, is an old-fashioned woman, set in her ways and is delighted to have her son back in her bosom, meanwhile she tends to leave Olivia to her own devices whilst quietly judging her. Geoffrey, is distraught that he let his family down, as he struggles to find work, he’s reminded of all the people he let down when his factory closed. At a time, when the pair of them should be supporting each other, they are drifting further away from each other and finding comfort in other peoples arms.

The story is a battle of morals, loyalty and despair as Olivia and Geoffrey try to carry on with their marriage but both are desperately unhappy. As the story progresses, the pair are faced with other problems, their son being bullied, the guilt of redundancy and affairs and the mysterious and sudden death of the Principals wife.

‘An Unsuitable Marriage’ is an emotional tale that really tugs at the heartstrings. The characters and the situations are relatable and sympathetic so the book was easy to delve into and get absorbed in. The book is filled with many issues, bullying, redundancy as well as adultery that there rarely is a dull moment in this gentle story. Cleverly crafted with warmhearted twists and turns that made for enjoyable reading, ‘An Unsuitable Marriage’ is about finding strength and survival and is perfect for fans of Hilary Boyd and Jill Mansell.

You can buy An Unsuitable Marriage from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Sometimes I Lie By Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie‘Sometimes I Lie’ is Alice Feeney’s debut novel.

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore

3. Sometimes I lie

If you’re a fan of books that holds you attention and shocks you at every twist and turn, then ‘Sometimes I Lie’ is just the book for you.

This gripping tale is seen through the narrative of Amber Reynolds, as she lies in a coma, aware of everything that is going on around her whilst everyone is unaware. In the coma, she tries to piece together the last moments leading up to her accident. Her husband, Paul is distraught and is unable to believe that Amber crashed her car on purpose and is determined to find out the truth, whilst her sister, Claire is apologetic and comes in to whisper apologies to Amber whilst holding her hand.

The story is cleverly written in different tenses, giving the reader a great feel and insight into the characters and their situations and how they all came to this point in their lives.

For me, I found Amber an intensely unlikable character, but I also loved her. She was so unhappy in many aspects of her life, her marriage, her job and her bully boss. But, she didn’t take her bosses bullying behaviour lying down and retaliated in the sneakiest and smartest of ways, that was almost admirable. When, she meets Edward, an old boyfriend, she reflects on her college years, less stress, less cellulite, a happier time. Her life is far from perfect, but is it so bad that she would intentionally crash her car?

The plot weaves between past and present tenses, coming perfectly together at key points helping the reader to piece clues together. An extremely interesting inclusion to the book, is diary entries from a little child. A lonely girl unhappy with her fighting parents but when she becomes friends with Claire, she finds herself a surrogate family, the perfect family and mother that she always dreamt off and as the story progresses and the plot gets darker, we see an interesting and unexpected change in the child.

Right from the beginning this book hooked my attention, drawing me into a dark and twisted world with sordid actions and consequences. The characters are wonderfully troubling whilst the intelligent twists in the tales and well crafted writing made the story complex and atmospheric. Packed with drama and suspense, ‘Sometimes I Lie’ is a deliciously tangled and addictive story that made for gripping reading with a stunning ending that will take your breath away!

You can pre-order Sometimes I Lie from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd March 2017.

The Last Act Of Hattie Hoffman By Mindy Mejia

The Last Act Of Hattie Hoffman‘The Last Act Of Hattie Hoffman’ is the thrilling new book by Mindy Mejia.

Eighteen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is the brightest star of her small town – until she is brutally murdered on the opening night of her high school play. Set across eight months before and after her murder, we flick between three narrators, Hattie, her high school English teacher Peter and local town sheriff Del Goodman, to find out what secrets this small town is hiding and what really happened to Hattie Hoffman.

For the last 24 hours, my head has been stuck in this book, it’s amazingly written, cleverly seen from the perspective of the victim, potential suspect and the police officer investigating the case and with these three very different narratives made for absolutely brilliant reading.

In the beginning of this story, we meet Hattie, she’s an aspiring young actress, who dreams of threading the boards on Broadway, but her dreams are cut tragically short when she is brutally murdered. The story begins on the night of the murder and then the following chapters, mix between both the past and present as her murder is investigated.

Hattie, is a confident young woman, she enjoys nothing more than stepping into character and begins to find over time, she is unsure of who the real Hattie is. But then Peter Lund steps into her life, as the new English teacher and she finally finds her true self as they embark on a secret relationship. Peter is unhappy in his life, he’s moved back to the small town as his mother in law is unwell and his wife Mary, wants to be close to her and be her carer. Feeling isolated and alone, their marriage becomes strained and Peter finds himself attracted to Hattie, a sharp and witty young woman who shares his passion for literature. Their relationship is fun and tentative, but also forbidden as they try to keep their feelings secret.

The story flashes back and forward between the narrative of the pair of them as they try to ignore their feelings towards each other and to when they finally give in. Whilst Sheriff Del Goodman, a gentle man who knew Hattie as a child is determined to find the killer of his friends daughter. His narrative in the story makes for interesting reading as he investigates the case, piecing clues together to find the killer.

An atmospheric psychological thriller that made for genuinely thrilling reading. The lead character is both likeable and unlikable in equal measures but also relatable in the fact that she is a small town girl wanting to escape to the land of opportunities. Riddled with twists and turns and a never ending list of suspects. A tragic love story with a cruel twist, ‘The Last Act Of Hattie Hoffman’ is an absorbing story that was impossible to put down.

You can pre-order The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th March 2017.

The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found By Trisha Ashley

The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found‘The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found’ is the latest book by Trisha Ashley.

Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home. So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium. Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?

Trisha is back with a new romantic and whimsical tale, perfect for fans of ‘Wuthering Heights’ set against the backdrop of the blustery moors, this poignant tale is just the right mixture of romance and humour to make this a captivating story.

The story is primarily is seen through the narrative of Alice Rose, a tender hearted woman who retreats to the small village of Haworth, when she purchases a teashop on a whim, after the sudden death of her fiancee, who was killed in a cliff climbing accident. Haworth, holds a lot of old memories for Alice, it was her birth place, where her mother left her wrapped up in a sheepskin rug, only to be discovered by a local farmer. Alice, never knew her real parents and always wondered where she came from, she has many unanswered questions and hopes that setting up not only shop and home, that they will finally be answered. As, she goes about making the teashop, the best in the village, Alice is kindly helped by Nile, the local antique dealer, a handsome rogue of a man, that women flourish to including Alice, who is also reluctantly drawn to. Nile and his warm family, embrace Alice, like a long lost sister, offering her the comfort of a family bosom that she missed out on.

When she’s not setting up her teashop, Alice is busy writing her alternative fairy tales and throughout the story, there is little extracts from the tales and these make for entertaining reading and a nice distraction from the main plot line of the story. Another interesting addition in the story, is the inclusion of the perspective of Alice’s birth mother and how she ended up leaving Alice on the moors, and it is quite wonderful how cleverly the stories all weave together, coming to an joint conclusion in the end.

With a collection of vibrant and quick witted characters, there was rarely a dull moment in the story, with Alice’s sweet nature, her new friends, Nile, his sister, Bel and their mother Shelia, their scenes together make for poignant and sweet reading as Alice adjusts to her new life.

A coming of age novel, about setting up and finding your place in life, ‘The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found’, is a warm and enjoyable tale with a sweet narrative that is the perfect escapism read, filled with fancy buns, handsome men and a creative leading lady, this book is a comforting read that is ideal to curl up with.

You can pre-order The Little Teashop of Lost and Found from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 29th June 2017.