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Catch Me If You Cannes By Lisa Dickenson

Catch Me If You Cannes‘Catch Me If You Cannes’ is latest book by Lisa Dickenson and is also the full novel of ebook series from a few years ago.

Jess has decided it’s time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of sun, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.

Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they’re staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony’s expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It’s just this once. No harm done . . . right?

Set against the backdrop of the exotic and glamorous Cannes, the story is about Jess and her best friend Bryony who both set off the Cannes Film Festival. Bryony is a journalist and hopes for a big reveal, whilst Jess goes along for a change of scenery. To fit in with some of worlds most elite and famous, the two women have to tell a few lies along the way, to make sure that people believe that they are rich and famous and worthy of their presence at the luxurious event.

I read this series a couple of years ago and I really enjoyed it. The book is filled with witty and funny characters that really made for entertaining reading.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Jess and this perspective is enjoyable. Jess is a lovely lady with a sharp sense of humour, when she catches the eye of handsome Leo, a boatman who sails around Cannes, they embark on a relationship that makes for poignant and fun reading.

The story is riddled with fun and drama that had me giggling throughout, filled with handsome men and disastrous scenarios, ‘Catch Me If You Cannes’ is a fresh and fabulous story that is the perfect escapism read.

You can buy Catch Me if You Cannes: The Complete Novel from Amazon and is avaiable to buy from good bookshops.

The Woman Who Met Her Match By Fiona Gibson

The Woman Who Met Her Match‘The Woman Who Met Her Match’ is the latest book by Fiona Gibson.

After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough. That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years. But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart, can she?

Fiona is back with another great story that will warm the cockles of your heart with her sweet and engaging story filled with relatable character and believable situation.

Like Fiona’s previous novels, the protagonist of the story is a single and hard working mother called Lorrie, a mother of two teenage children who has never quite got over the sudden death of her partner David. Whilst her children want nothing more than for their mother to be happy, she agrees to have a go at online dating, which ends up in disastrous results as nothing is what it seems on the internet. Then out of the blue, the first love of her life, Antoine gets in touch for the first time after breaking her 16 year old heart whilst on a trip to France. They befriend each other on Facebook and tentatively get to know one another and Lorrie enjoys reminiscing of earlier times, without the stress of impending redundancy and her 70 year old mother’s forthcoming nuptials.

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Lorrie and she is a genuinely heartwarming and kind lady. In her job as a make up sales person, she enjoys nothing more than transforming people and relieving a little bit of stress from their lives with a sweep of a brush. She’s considerate and patient, particularly when it comes to her high maintenance mother, who regularly makes for entertaining and shocking reading with her way of treating Lorrie. There are many fun characters in the story that compliment Lorrie, one person in particular is Stu, Lorrie’s lodger, a charismatic man who is always there to lend an ear after a horrible day.

Fun from the first page, this book was a delight to read, wittily and sensitively written in parts, that had me smiling throughout. Proof that age is just a number and you’re never to old to start over, whether it’s in love or in life, ‘The Woman Who Met Her Match’ is a poignant and enjoyable tale about the modern day woman.

You can buy The Woman Who Met Her Match from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

When Light Is Like Water By Molly McCloskey

When Light Is Like Water‘When Light Is Like Water’ is the latest book by Molly McCloskey.

Alice, a young American on her travels, arrives in the West of Ireland with no plans and no strong attachments – except to her beloved mother, who raised her on her own. She falls in love with an Irishman, marries him, and settles down in a place whose codes she struggles to crack. And then, in the course of a single hot summer, she embarks on an affair that breaks her marriage and sets her life on a new course. After years working in war zones around the world, and in the immediate aftermath of her mother’s death, Alice finds herself back in Ireland and contemplating the forces that led her to put down roots and then tear them up again. What drew her to her husband, and what pulled her away? Was her husband strangely complicit in the affair? Was she always under surveillance by friends and neighbours who knew more than they let on?

This book is written in the first person and is seen through the narrative of Alice, a young American who travels to Ireland, intending to stay there for a short time, but she ends up staying for a number of years, marrying an Irish man and settling down.

The story is written in a reflective style as Alice has returned to Ireland after many years away and she looks back on what she has done with her life and how she has got to where she is.

The story is written in the past and present tense and gives the reader a great insight into her life, as she reflects on her failings in relationship as both a wife and daughter.

After many years away from Ireland, Alice has left Nairobi and returned to the place that she thought of as home. After her mothers death, Alice finds herself unhappy and trying to properly find herself in Ireland but it’s packed with so many memories, her failed marriage and her affair. But where she went wrong in Ireland, she reconciled in Africa helping people who were less well off.

I really enjoyed this book, it’s deep and honest that really did make for insightful reading. Set against the bleak background of Ireland, the story is about a young woman trying and failing to find her place whilst trying to deal with the complications and pressures of relationships.

You can buy When Light Is Like Water from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Gather The Daughters By Jennie Melamed

Gather The Daughters‘Gather The Daughters’ is the latest book by Jennie Melamed.

On a small isolated island, there’s a community that lives by its own rules. Boys grow up knowing they will one day reign inside and outside the home, while girls know they will be married and pregnant within moments of hitting womanhood. But before that time comes, there is an island ritual that offers children an exhilarating reprieve. Every summer they are turned out onto their doorsteps to roam wild: they run, they fight, they sleep on the beach and build camps in trees. They are free. It is at the end of one of these summers, as the first frost laces the ground, that one of the younger girls witnesses something she was never supposed to see. And she returns home, muddy and terrified, clutching in her small hand a truth that could unravel their carefully constructed island world forever.

When I started to read this book, I was completely taken aback with it. The cover doesn’t give much away, but I did have an inkling that it was a bit of a dark story.

The story is seen from the perspective of four different teenage girls, Janey, Amanda, Vanessa and Caitlin.They are all on the cusp of venturing into womanhood, a new chapter in their lives that none of them want to happen. They all live in a small village, where men are rulers and women are purely created to slave after the men as well as breed. Once, the women begin their periods, they then embark on the Summer of Fruitation, where they are sent off to find a likely match, who they will then marry and have children with. All women long for sons, as they will have a better quality of life than daughters.

For years, the women have settled with their tasks and being treated as inferior creatures, but the latest series of girls are unhappy. For such young women, they have seen too much and know that their lives will considerably get worse, if they don’t speak out. Janey, is their leader, she’s fighting against becoming a woman by starving herself. The Wanderers, who are leaders off the town, are wary of the Janey and the girls who have followed her hoping to make better lives for themselves, but as the girls speak out for themselves and refuse to obey their leaders, sinister things begin to happen.

The book is very much reminiscent of the 2004 by M. Night Shyamalan called ‘The Village’. It’s set in a rural town, where they live in mud huts, suffer colds and illnesses and technology is a far off thing, but the women are advanced. They know that their lives aren’t right and want to make a change. The story is very atmospheric and eerie, right from the start, with the creepy elders and the strange and dominant rules everyone has to live by or else they will be shamed or suddenly disappear.

The perspective of the women was extremely interesting, they all had different background stories but at their very core, they are strong, independent and outspoken women who all know that there is better ways to live.

A unique story that spins an uncomfortable tale, ‘Gather The Daughters’ is a claustrophobic and troublesome story about hope and new beginnings

You can buy Gather the Daughters from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Special Girls By Isabelle Grey

The Special Girls‘The Special Girls’ is the third book in the D.I. Grace Fisher series.

A doctor is found beaten to death in woods close to a summer camp for young women with eating disorders. The camp is run by the charismatic Professor Chesham. DI Grace Fisher is called in, but is quickly pulled from the investigation – to head up a cold case inquiry involving Chesham himself. Some years earlier, one of Chesham’s patients made allegations that he sexually assaulted her. As Grace uncovers the lies that led to the doctor’s murder, she discovers the full extent of the damage done to the special girls – and the danger they are still in. D.I. Grace Fisher is back with another thrilling and unique case to investigate where everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted.

In this gripping tale, Grace has been called in to investigate a murder case when a psychotherapist is found mysteriously dead in the woods whilst out on an expedition with his patients. Whilst investigating this case, Grace ends up delving into an unsolved case of sexual abuse from over twenty years ago where allegations where made but where not followed up.

The story follows from the perspective of DI Grace Fisher, her journalist friend Ivo and a man called Clive, who suspects that is teenage daughter was the victim of sexual assault. As Grace Fisher investigates the murder, she finds out that all the girls who were at expedition, are all sufferers of eating disorders and this adventure is way of helping them deal with it. The adventure is organised by Professor Ned’s Chesham’s, a highly respected academic who has helped many girls with eating disorders and is just about to receive a knighthood for all his hard work, but it seems that Ned isn’t quite the hero that he’s made out to be when allegations of sexual abuse are made against him.

I really enjoyed this story, Isabelle has written a cleverly weaved and gripping tale that really engages the audiences attention and the different perspectives make for insightful reading. There’s the police perspective as Grace looks into the current and old cases piecing together clues and information that were overlooked many years ago, there’s also the human interest angle as she tackles the sensitive nature of child abuse, whilst Ivo is Grace’s useful source of information, helping to uncover stories and find people that may not want to be found. Finally, there’s Clive, a heartbroken father, who’s at his wits end as he fears that his troubled daughter was the victim of sexual abuse and that’s why she is so angry. It’s quite heartbreaking to read Clive’s parts in the story, as he feels that he failed his daughter and was unable to protect her.

A dark and troubled tale that deals with many issues that makes for chilling reading, ‘The Special Girls’ is an uncomfortably realistic and compassionate story that was impossible to put down.

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