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Snowdrops On Rosemary Lane By Ellen Berry

Snowdrops On Rosemary Lane‘Snowdrops On Rosemary Lane’ is the latest book by Ellen Berry.

Lucy fell in love with tumbledown Rosemary Cottage as a child. So thirty years on, when she loses her city job and discovers the cottage is for sale, it feels like fate. She’ll raise her children in Burley Bridge and transform the cottage into a B&B with her husband. But a year can change everything. Now Lucy is juggling two children and a B&B, but on her own. Christmas looks set to be their last on Rosemary Lane – until she meets James, a face from her past and someone who might offer a different kind of future/ Should Lucy leave the cottage behind? Or could this winter on Rosemary Lane be the start of something new?

Ellen Berry is back with a new instalment in the Rosemary Lane series. This time it takes shape in the new bed and breakfast in the village, newly opened by Lucy and her husband and their two children. Just as they’ve settled into their new lives, tragedy strikes and Lucy finds herself alone with two young children and a new bed and breakfast. As Lucy adapts to a new life, she finds an old school friend called James who’s also going through a bit of a difficult time with a temperamental father. Together the pair of them embark on a new friendship now as adults and Lucy has to decide whether she wants to continue life in Rosemary.

I’ve come to love Ellen Berry, whether she’s writing as herself which is Fiona Gibson or Ellen, her books are always heart-warming, funny and emotive stories that tug at the readers heartstrings. In her latest book, we meet Lucy a kind woman who’s looking forward to beginning a new life in Rosemary Lane with her little family, but as she’s dealt a cruel hand, we see how she recovers from it and carries on with life, through new friendships, young children as well as her creativity that makes a popular character in the small village.

An enjoyable story from the first page, ‘Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane’ is an engaging and captivating story. With relatable characters and situations, the book is sweetly written and cleverly crafted with humour and warmth to really pull the reader in and is perfect festive story to curl up with.

You can pre-order ‘Snowdrops On Rosemary Lane’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 26th December 2019.

On The Up By Alice O’Keefe

On The Up‘On The Up’ is the latest book by Alice O’Keefe.

Sylvia lives in a flat on a council estate with her not-quite-husband Obe and their two young children. She dreams of buying a house on a leafy street like the one she grew up in. If she closes her eyes, she can see it all so clearly: the stripped floorboards, the wisteria growing around the door. It’s not ideal that she’s about to be made redundant, or that Obe, a playworker, is never going to earn more than the minimum wage. As sleep deprivation sets in, and the RnB downstairs gets ever louder, Sylvia’s life starts to unravel. But when the estate is earmarked for redevelopment, the threat to her community gives Sylvia a renewed sense of purpose. With a bit of help from her activist sister, and her film-maker friend Frankie, she’s ready to take a stand for what she believes in.

In her mid thirties, Sylvia finds herself looking at her life and comparing it to others. Living in Priory Court with her partner Obe and two children, she wants more from life.

One day, she decides to move house and finds the perfect family home that is way out of their budget. Currently on maternity leave and Obe on a low income, Sylvia finds herself scraping and saving to get by and Sylvia finds herself taking against Obe because of their situation. Once a happy couple, they are now in a place where they are pitted against each other due to their frustrations in life.

The story is well written and has complex and relatable characters. I really liked Sylvia and found myself sympathetic towards her and her situation. In the current climate, that revolves around culture and money, the story touches on the pressure that society puts on ourselves to succeed and to be on par with our peers.

As well as battling with poverty, Sylvia also has other struggles such has juggling two young children as well as her own health. Her relationship with Obe makes for interesting reading, occasionally witty, there is an element of sadness to their relationship.

The story focuses on poverty and mental health, as well as an exploration into relationships. An uplifting and insightful story about the struggles of life, relationships and health, ‘On The Up’ is a tenderly written and observational story about modern life and the struggle to keep up with the Jones’.

You can buy ‘On The Up’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Ex Girlfriend By Nicola Moriarty

The Ex-Girlfriend‘The Ex-Girlfriend’ is the latest book by Nicola Moriarty.

Finally, Georgia has found the one. Luke is kind, handsome, and makes her feel safe – which is what she needs after everything she’s been through. The only problem is his ex-girlfriend. Luke says Cadence just can’t accept the breakup, and that explains the texts, the emails, the notes. But then things start to go very wrong – will Cadence really do whatever it takes to get what she wants?

I’ve spent my day with my head in this book and it was a fantastic story. Cleverly written with relatable characters, this book discusses the complexities of relationships and obsession Georgia has just about given up on love after a doomed Tinder date, meets Luke who rescues her after unwanted advances from other men. She begins a relationship with Luke and everything seems perfect until Luke reveals that he has baggage in the shape of an ex girlfriend who refuses to believe that they are over.

Delighted to be in a new relationship, Georgia finds herself a victim of a hate campaign as Cadence plots against Georgia to make her life hell.

One of the many things that I really enjoyed about this book is the tricky characters, that make them so unreliable and for me this really kept me on my toes as I was second guessing their actions and trying to figure out who you could trust.

Riddled with suspense and drama, the story has many twists and turns that really made for dramatic and enjoyable reading. The perfect psychological thriller with just the right combination of romance and drama, ‘The Ex Girlfriend’ is a well crafted story about love, obsession and is most certainly, a creepy read!

You can buy ‘The Ex Girlfriend’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Free Lunch By Rex Ogle

Free Lunch‘Free Lunch’ is Rex Ogle’s debut novel.

Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle’s first term at High School. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore second-hand clothes and were short of school supplies, and Ogle was on his school’s free lunch programme.

‘Free Lunch’ is a honest and insightful story about poverty, abuse and family relationships.

Based on his life, Rex talks about the struggles that he experienced as a child when his family had no money. He reflects on the shame and sadness that he felt having to be given the Free Lunch programme and how he difficult he found life at school for not only being poor but being judged by his peers and elders on his family’s financial situation. Rex’s relationship with his mother is an intense and abusive, she’s always angry and frustrated by their situation and she primarily takes her anger out on Rex, whether that’s physically or emotionally and it really does make for upsetting reading. Rex, himself is a character that I felt such empathy for, he’s kind and smart but sadly society judges him for his situation so we don’t always see the best of him but he’s always remorseful for his actions. There was one chink of light in the story and that was Rex’s baby brother Ford who added some humour to the story with his sweetness.

With strong characters and dialogues that doesn’t hold back on the punches, ‘Free Lunch is a honest and vivid account of life on the poverty line in America and is a captivating debut.

You can buy ‘Free Lunch’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Perfect Widow By AM Castle

The Perfect Widow‘The Perfect Widow’ is the latest book by AM Castle.

A loving husband, Patrick. Two adorable children. A comfortable home. So when PC Becca Holt arrives to break the news that Patrick has been killed in an accident, she thinks Louise’s perfect world is about to collapse around her. But Louise doesn’t react in the way Becca would expect her to on hearing of her husband’s death. And there are only three plates set out for dinner, as if Louise already knew Patrick wouldn’t be home that night… The more Becca digs, the more secrets she uncovers in the Bridges’ marriage – and the more she wonders just how far Louise would go to get what she wants…

This is first book that I’ve read by AM Castle and it’s a well plotted and cleverly written story that really keeps the reader on their toes.

The story is seen through the narrative of Louise Bridges, a woman who has received the tragic news that he husband has been killed in a car accident, as well as the police officer Becca, who delivered the news to Louise and seems to believe that there is more to Louise than meets the eye.

Written in the past and present tense, we meet Louise, a determined young woman who fell for her boss Patrick and finally managed to get the life that she always dreamed off, stability, money and a family having grown up in an abusive home. But one day, she discovers that the life that the life that she had worked hard for, is about to be taken away and will do all that she can to protect herself and her two children. Whilst Becca, is convinced that Louise knows about her husband’s death than she let’s on and finds herself going above her pay grade to find out. She’s an obsessive and also determined woman to find out all she can about Louise.

As a fan of psychological thrillers, this book is definitely up there. The characters are interesting and relatable with the charismatic husband, who women flock over and Louise, who I felt such a strong empathy for. She’s complex and quite awkward at times, wanting to be accepted and to fit in and this all stems back to her troubled childhood. I liked Becca, she’s a bit of an underdog to the story, she’s not respected by her peers, she’s determined to prove her gut instinct is right, even when more senior officials say that she is wrong.

With an excellent storyline and insight into the complexity of human nature, ‘The Perfect Widow’ is a well crafted and plotted story, with twists, suspense and unreliable characters that keeps the reader on their toes, I look forward to more books by AM Castle.

You can buy ‘The Perfect Widow’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd January 2020.