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Girls’ Night Out By Liz Fention and Lisa Steinke

Girls' Night Out‘Girls’ Night Out’ is the second book by writing duo Liz Fention and Lisa Steinke.

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together. Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies? As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

For the last few days, I’ve had my head stuck in ‘Girls’ Night Out’, a gripping story about the complexities and issues of female friendships with unexpected results.

The story is seen through the eyes of once best friends, Ashley, Natalie and Lauren as they all disappear to Mexico to try to rekindle the old friendship that they had, but life and jealousy has gotten in the way making them wary of each other. What should be an adventure and an opportunity to mend old wounds turns into a nightmare when Ashley disappears leaving both Natalie and Lauren wishing they had been better friends. The story floats between the past and present tense leading up the Ashley’s disappearance.

The three friends are interesting characters. They pretend to be best friends, but really they are all hiding something from each other. Ashley is quite obviously the leader of the pack, men want to be with her and women want to be friends with her, but her two best friends see another side of her that they don’t like. She’s domineering, self-centred and likes everything to be her way, much to the despair of Lauren and Natalie. Natalie is the peacekeeper of the group, always neutral and trying not to take sides, but she’s finding it hard to keep things together when her own marriage is falling apart, whilst Lauren will never forgive Ashley for not really being there for her when her husband died and thinks that this holiday will be the ending of the relationship.

A taunt thriler from the very beginning and riddled with tension throughout that made for dramatic reading, ‘Girls’ Night Out’ is a thrilling story of jealousy, that shows female friendship at its very worst.

You can buy Girls’ Night Out from Amazon

The Forgotten Guide To Happiness By Sophie Jenkins

The Forgotten Guide To Happiness‘The Forgotten Guide To Happiness’ is Sophie Jenkins debut novel

Twenty-eight-year-old Lana Green has never been good at making friends. She’s perfectly happy to be left alone with her books. Or at least, that’s what she tells herself. Nancy Ellis Hall was once a celebrated writer. Now eighty, she lives alone in her North London house, and thinks she’s doing just fine. But dementia is loosening Nancy’s grip on the world. When Lana and Nancy become unconventional house mates, their lives will change in ways they never expected. But can an unusual friendship rescue two women who don’t realise they need to be saved?

‘The Forgotten Guide To Happiness’ is a beautifully poignant and witty story that really grabbed my attention throughout. The story is seen through the narrative of Lana, a successful author who is struggling with her follow up second novel. Having suffered a recent heartbreak, she’s finding it difficult to write an upbeat story of love and positivity much to the dismay of her agent and bank balance. Finding herself not only broke but broken, she starts a new career as a romantic lecturer as well as becoming a carer for Nancy Ellis Hall, a literary icon on the cusp of dementia. Her step-son has stepped in as a reluctant hero to help Lana research her book as well as prove that heroes do exist.

This is a lovely story, Lana is a funny and regularly had been laughing at her anecdotes and crazy situations, as she relaxed into her new job as a lecturer and teaching others around her about love, even though she has given up on the concept after being left heartbroken. Nancy is a boisterous character that really lit up the pages of the story, outspoken, creative and deliciously kind hearted, it was hard not to fall in love with the old dear as she spoke frankly of love and her own experiences. She becomes across as quite a hardhearted character, but she’s actually quiet vulnerable and hides behind this facade. Scenes between her and Lana are wonderfully funny and occasionally tender moments. Whilst Jack, the budding hero of the story is quite a charismatic gentleman who is out to prove to Lana, that there are still some heroes in the world.

Wonderfully lighthearted but deliciously fun, ‘The Forgotten Guide To Happiness’, is an entertaining story of friendship and new beginnings.

You can buy The Forgotten Guide to Happiness from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th August 2018.

No Further Questions By Gillian McAllister

No Further Questions‘No Further Questions’ is the latest book by Gillian McAllister.

The police say she’s guilty. She insists she’s innocent. She’s your sister. You loved her. You trusted her. But they say she killed your child. Who do you believe?

‘No Further Questions’ is the second book by Gillian McAllister and I found the book to be quite a struggle to read at times, as the topic was off.a sensitive nature that made for hard reading.

The story is seen through the narrative of sisters Martha and Becky as they deal with the aftermath of one fateful night when Becky was put in charge of Martha’s only child, 8 week old Layla, only for the baby to die in her care. Now Becky is potentially facing jail time for a death, that she maintains she isn’t responsible for. The story flows back and forth during events leading up to the night and also includes perspectives who are also witnesses in the case.

This story was a struggle to read, as two sisters go head to head and try to piece together the missing pieces of the night, Martha is distraught that she has lost her little girl, but try as she might, she cannot believe that her sister is responsible for her daughters death. Whilst Becky has her struggles and issues to deal with, her quick temper and flair for drama, makes people suspicious of her actions, even though she and those around her are convinced of her innocence.

Complex and twisty from the start, the story is a dark tale that made for compulsive reading, the book touches on subjects of alcoholism, infidelity, mental illness and really tackles the issues with honest and sensitive writing.

A reflective and heart wrenching story about love, loss and sisterhood, ‘No Further Questions’ is a suspenseful story that really pulls the reader in.

You can buy No Further Questions from Amazon

One In A Million By Lindsey Kelk

One In A Million‘One In A Million’ is the latest book by Lindsey Kelk.

Annie Higgins has 30 days to make Sam famous. But when the time’s up, will she choose followers and likes – or real relationships and love? Tired of the advertising idiots across the hallway making fun of her business, social media specialist Annie Higgins (iPhone in one hand, glass of wine in the other) accepts a bet that she can make anyone famous in thirty days. Even when the advertising idiots choose the office weirdo, Sam, as her target, she’s determined to win – whether he likes it or not.Annie soon discovers that getting to know Sam means getting to know more about herself – and before the thirty days are out, has a difficult decision to make about what’s really important.

One In A Million is the hilarious new book from Lindsey Kelk and this book had me hooked right from the start, with a fantastic lead, witty one liners and awkward situations, it’s no wonder I read the first 200 pages in one sitting.

The book is seen solely through the hilarious eyes of Annie Higgins, a successful woman with an award nominated company at her fingertips. Fluent in all things social media, she handles big clients and is always able to send out the correct message. Until, one day she is challenged about her job, she rises to the challenge and claims that she is able to get someone 20,000 Followers on Instagram in one month. The lucky victim is Dr Samuel Page, a man with wise head who has no interest in social media and prefers to reading about famous historical figures or working on his upcoming novel. He’s no desire to get involved in Annie’s project until she promises that she will be able to help him win back his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly, he has a reason to get involved and reluctantly agrees to the challenge, which sees them embark on a strange new friendship and hilarious and honest results.

I absolutely adored this book, but that’s to become expected when you are a fan of Lindsey Kelk. Her books are delivered with wit and drama that really keeps the reader engaged and her latest book was no different. I loved Annie, she’s funny, kind and has a frank and honest approach to life, determined to prove just how good she is at her job, she delivers with amazing results. I also developed a bit of a crush on Sam, who is the reluctant hero in the story. Like Annie, he’s straight forward but with a touch of innocence about him that does him very endearing to the reader. Not only are main characters of the story, wonderfully entertaining but so are their friends, which had me chuckling throughout.

Filled with plenty of laugh out loud moments, the book is really on trend with the power of social media, as well women having to prove their places in male dominated industries, which I found particularly insightful as it’s an industry that I also work in. A fabulously aspirational story that was impossible to put down, ‘One In A Million’ is a warm and entertaining story that is the perfect distraction from real life.

You can pre-order One in a Million from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 26th July 2018.

A Family Recipe By Veronica Henry

A Family Recipe‘The Family Recipe’ is by Veronica Henry.

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom. But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles. Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose. Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return.

The latest book from Veronica Henry is a delicious heartwarming story about love and family.

The story is set in the past during the Second World War, when Jilly Wilson tragically loses her parents during an aid raid on the night that she meets handsome stranger called Harry Swann, who leaves her to fight for their country. Fast forward to nearly 70 years later to the present day and her great grand-daughter is leaving for university, whilst her mother Laura is wondering what to do with her spare time.

Suddenly with an empty house, she decides to embark on a new venture and use her own culinary skills and rustic home to create a new income for herself. She was looking forward to spending time with her husband Dom, now that both their daughters are gone but fate has dealt her an unexpected hand.

The two different eras and characters are a lovely touch to the story, as both women separated in age, both deal with sudden circumstances that are set to challenge them. Jilly AKA Kanga is a lovely woman, she’s strong and caring and even at the loss of her parents, sees her put others before her and give them sanctuary when their houses are bombed. Meanwhile, Laura is a kind hearted woman who’s goal is to look after her children and protect them from hurt, she throws herself into her work and to distract herself.

I genuinely loved this story, the characters are heartwarming and relatable and the different eras give an interesting quirk to the story. With a charming cover and a lovely blend of family dramas, complicated relationships and new beginnings, ‘The Family Recipe’ is an absolute treat.

You can buy A Family Recipe from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.