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The Sunday Lunch Club By Juliet Ashton

The Sunday Lunch Club‘The Sunday Lunch Club’ is the latest book by Juliet Ashton.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way. Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate. Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Juliet Ashton, so when I received a copy of her latest story called ‘The Sunday Lunch Club’ I was eager to delve into foodie story of new love and family drama.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Anna, the eldest sibling of a family of four, who had become accustomed to being the parent of the family, along with her outspoken and flamboyant brother Neil. On Sunday’s, they gather at each other’s houses, with their families and catch up on each other.

It’s at her youngest brother’s Josh soiree, one Sunday that Anna discovers she is pregnant after a quick one stand and that she meets Josh’s friend Luca, who she rapidly falls for. Now suddenly pregnant at 40, Anna wonders what to do and finds it only natural to continue with her pregnancy and her new love affair with Luca, who openly supports her decision. As the pair of them embark on their new relationship, Anna takes the next nine months to take stock of her family and the issues that they face. Neil is struggling to adapt to fatherhood now that he and his partner have adopted and longs for the crazy days of long nights out, whilst Maeve, her other sister longs for a proper relationship and seems to attract men that have no genuine interest in her and finally her brother Josh, who is quiet and timid and the main reason Anna worries so much. Meanwhile Dinkie, the Irish grandmother of the finally has finally gone into full time care, much to the discomfort of the rest of the family.

I loved this story, it’s filled to the brim with drama and humour and had such an eclectic mix of characters that it was hard not to get absorbed in all their tales. Anna, was a lovely lead character, kind with a heart of gold, she was always putting others before herself. She’s extremely hard on herself for the person she has become and carries a guilty secret that no-one else knows and this makes life hard for her but for the reader, makes for compelling reading.

The story is very current as it touches on so many topics, same-sex relationships, transgender and there are so many unexpected surprises along the way keeps the reader on their toes.

With a stunningly vibrant cover and a clever plot line, ‘The Sunday Lunch Club’ is a delicious story, with fascinating characters and a dose of humour and good food scattered throughout, this book will wet any readers appetite with it’s feel good drama.

You can pre-order The Sunday Lunch Club from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th April 2018.

The Bad Daughter By Joy Fielding

The Bad Daughter‘The Bad Daughter’ is the latest book by ‘New York Times’ bestselling author.

Robin Davis hasn’t spoken to her family in six years. Not since it happened. Then they’re attacked; left fighting for their lives. And Robin is back. All families have their secrets. And one of theirs may have put them all in terrible danger.

I was waiting on a friend when I started reading this book and eventually when they turned up more than a hour later, I was disappointed to have to put the book down.

The story is written in third person and is seen through the eyes of Robin, a psychotherapist, who has trouble dealing with her own troubles and emotions as well as advising others. When her estranged sister calls her to tell her that her father, step mother and step-sister have been shot, the last thing she wants to do is return to her childhood home, but feels she has to.

Robin has always had a turbulent relationship with her older sister, Melanie. Robin is a meek and quiet character and Melanie regularly picks on her, belittling her at every opportunity. She’s a bully and straight to the point and sometimes this makes for entertaining but uncomfortable reading.

As Robin settles back into her small town life, she reflects on her old life back in LA, -the demons that she battles, her self confidence as well as doubting her fiancée.

The story flows at a fast pace with a mix of unpleasant and fascinating characters, particularly Melanie, Robin’s older sister who has a dark and cutting sense of humour and Cassidy, the little girl who was caught in the cross fire when her parents were shot. Bubbly and fun, she seems far from troubled and upset and makes for intriguing reading.

I absolutely loved this story, from the very start I was completely drawn in. With short chapters, it was easy to get absorbed in the dark and twisted tale which was so cleverly written that everyone was a suspect.

With twists and drama and with the added injection of humour and mystery throughout, ‘The Bad Daughter’ is a wonderfully gripping read.

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

Our Tiny Useless Hearts By Toni Jordan

Our Tiny Useless Hearts‘Our Tiny Useless Hearts’ is the latest book by Toni Jordan.

Henry has ended his marriage to Caroline and run off with his daughter’s teacher, Martha. Caroline, having shredded a wardrobe-full of Henry’s suits, has gone after them.Craig and Lesley have dropped over from next door to catch up on the fallout from Henry and Caroline’s all-night row.And Janice, Caroline’s sister, is staying for the weekend to look after the children because Janice is the sensible one. Then Craig enters through the bedroom window expecting a tryst with Caroline and finds Janice instead, Lesley storms in full of threats, Henry, Caroline and Martha arrive back from the airport in separate taxis – and let’s not even get started on Brendan the pizza guy.Janice can cope with all that. But when her ex-husband Alec knocks on the door things suddenly get complicated…

What can I say about this book? Only that the author has managed to write a story with so many unlikable characters that I regularly found myself tutting in disgust at their antics and unable to put the vibrant book down.

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Janice, who happens to arrive at her sister’s Caroline’s house just as her husband comes clear about having an affair with his daughters teacher. He runs off with his mistress only for Caroline to chase after him leaving Janice to look after her nieces. Meanwhile Caroline’s neighbours, Craig and Lesley are very quick to offer their advice on their perfect marriage.

As Janice looks after her nieces, the bossy and inquisitive Mercedes and her younger sister, Paris who hasn’t spoken since her father’s departure, she begins to reflect on her own life and question the decisions she made, particularly the one where she divorced the man she still loves.

This story has the most eclectic range of characters, all with huge, overbearing and self absorbed personalities, Janice was the only the person who had a sense of empathy towards the pain that her nieces were feeling and is a kind and gentle soul in the sea of egos and pain. As a scientist, Janice is a thinker and logical always there to offer a solution when problems arose. She’s a quiet person, who puts others before her and this is reflected in how her life has turned out.

A soul searching tale of love and sisterhood, ‘Our Tiny Useless Hearts’ is a poignant and witty story about the complexities of life, the struggles that we encounter along the way and how what happens in our childhoods moulds into the person we become in life. Witty and observant of life’s relationships, this book was riddled with drama and shocking characters and was a delight from start to finish.

You can buy Our Tiny, Useless Hearts from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Blood Sisters By Jane Corry

Blood Sisters‘Blood Sisters’ is the latest book by Jane Corry.

Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that’s the story she’s sticking to.Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right. But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May. And only another life will do…

‘Blood Sisters’ is Jane Corry’s second book and is just as gripping and dark as her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, with quite complex and difficult characters, this thriller was easily devoured in one sitting.

In the book, we meet sisters, Alison and Kitty, whose lives change dramatically when an accident happens when they are teenagers. The accident leaves Kitty in a care home with no memory and leaves Alison living with the guilt of the accident and feeling responsible for her Kitty’s disability. Alison tries to stay away from Kitty, as being with her reminds her of the guilt, so she keeps her visits to the care home to an absolute minimum, much to the despair of her mother. Alison loves art and finds a comfort and solace in creating, so when the unusual opportunity comes about to become an art teacher in a prison, she grabs it with both hands looking to make a difference to other people’s lives. But, it’s whilst she’s in prison, that she finds herself in danger not only within the confines of the prison walls but on the outside world.

The thing that makes this book so interesting is the mix of the characters, there’s the quiet, soothing presence of Alison with her tragic past and then there’s Kitty. Kitty is quite the wildcard, she’s boisterous, outspoken and is frustrated by her disability. She gets fed up when people don’t understand her. As the story is seen through the narrative of both sisters, I found Kitty fascinating. In my mind, everything makes sense but to others, she speaks nonsense, and this angers her making her lash out. With her disability, Kitty is a great character, she’s wild, witty, with a sense of humour and says what she thinks, unconcerned of the outcomes.

The story flows between the past and present tense leading up to the accident and gives us an insight into the type of person Kitty was before the accident and I found these scenes to be the most fascinating of the story. She was quite unlikable, spoilt and seemed to revel in making Alison’s life a misery.

Atmospheric from the very first page, the story is cleverly written with hidden twists and turns throughout that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Chilling, suspenseful with the addition of unexpected humour, ‘Blood Sisters’ is a gripping psychological tale of sibling rivalry and dark secrets.

You can buy Blood Sisters from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

This Could Change Everything By Jill Mansell

This Could Change Everything‘This Could Change Everything’ is the latest book by Jill Mansell.

On the one hand, if Essie hadn’t written that letter – the one that only her best friend was meant to see – then she’d still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding…On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn’t accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn’t have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas…And she wouldn’t have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn’t fall in love with…

Jill Mansell is back with a delicious new book that will warm the cockles of your heart with this happy story of karma, new beginnings and glamourous ladies.

In her latest book, the story is seen from the perspective of Essie, who’s life falls apart when her jokey Round Robin email is sent to everyone in her contacts list and this leaves her single, jobless and homeless. Fortunately, sophisticated Zillah takes her under her wing and offers her refuge in her home, in return for helping around the house. Now, that she has a home, Essie just needs to find a job and fortunately Lucas needs help in his bar. This would be great, if Essie didn’t hate Lucas for ruining her life and sending that email but she reluctantly starts working for him. Meanwhile, Conor Zillah’s other tenant is helping Zillah with her side project, helping people fulfil their last dying wishes.

From the start to finish, this book was an enjoyable read. It’s filled with entertaining and bubbly characters that made it impossible not to smile at. Essie is a great character, she’s fun, outspoken and isn’t afraid to tell Lucas what she really thinks of him. Moments between the pair make for entertaining and occasionally tense reading. Lucas is a charming man, who regrets getting on the wrong side of Essie and each time, he tries to right things between them, it’s thrown back in his face. I adored Zillah, she’s an elderly, flamboyant woman with a huge heart, she’s wonderfully witty and has such kind nature, that I found myself regularly welling up at her generosity for others.

With a striking cover, this book is wonderfully fun with dramas and twists throughout, ‘This Could Change Everything’ is a heart-warming story of friendship, love and starting over. Packed with humour, drama and tenderness, this romantic story is beautifully written and will have you smiling when reach the final page.

You can buy This Could Change Everything from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.