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Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling By Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

Once, Twice, Three Times An AislingThe fabulous Aisling is back for a third time with the latest book by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen called ‘Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling’.

Aisling is thirty, flirty and frazzled. But – just when she should finally be feeling all grown-up – she’s floundering. Because when you’re recovering from a broken heart as well as struggling to keep your café as sizzling as your award-winning sausages, it’s hard to feel you’ve really made it as an adult. Which is just the moment for the unexpected to strike and complicate everything. Now is not the time for a delicious new man to show up, her best friend to demand the hen do of the century and a surprise celebrity appearance. But Aisling, never one to worry about having too much on her plate, rolls up her sleeves: she’s got this. Until she discovers that being a proper grown-up means you can’t do everything. Sometimes you will let someone down. But will it be those she loves, or herself?

Aisling is back with a bang and I have to admit, the latest book is my favourite series. Again the writing duo have created a magnificent story filled with empathy, charm and humour that made for delicious reading. Our favourite Irish lass is back and this time it’s all about being the perfect bridesmaid to her best friend, catering for a secret celebrity wedding as well as trying to move on with her broken heart and face her 30th birthday. But in true Aisling style, she puts everyone before herself to make sure that everyone has their perfect day.

I’ve always found Aisling to be one of the most relatable characters that I’ve had the joy of reading in a while. Like every woman, she’s terrified of turning 30 as she hasn’t achieved the same as everyone else and is pressure from society, with everyone settling down around her. She’s kind with a huge heart and a sensible mind, but she genuinely makes me laugh out loud with her wit and the dialogue throughout.

An Irish heartwarming tale at its very finest, ‘Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling’ is filled with warmth, Irish charm and a bittersweet ending that really leaves that reader on the edge of their seat. This book is well worthy of its recent Irish Books Awards nomination for Book of the Year and is a fantastic return to everyone’s favourite Irish protagonist

You can buy ‘Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 19th September 2019.

Rewrite The Stars By Emma Heatherington

Rewrite The Stars‘Rewrite The Stars’ is the latest book by Northern Ireland author, Emma Heatherington.

From the moment they meet one December day there’s something between Charlotte Taylor and her brother’s best friend, Tom Farley. But Tom’s already taken and Charlie has to let him go. It’s another five years before their paths cross again only a secret from the past forces Charlie to make a choice. She promises herself she’ll never look back. The years pass and Charlie moves on with her life but she can never forget Tom. He’s always there whispering ‘What if?’ Can Charlie leave the life she has built for one last chance with Tom? Or is the one that got away not really the one at all…?

I set and read this charming book in two sittings over the weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming book.

The story is seen through the narrative of Charlotte Taylor who one day meets Tom Farley and becomes besotted with the idea of him being the one. Years later, they meet again only for things again not to work out when Charlotte’s brother is involved in a terrible accident that she feels responsible for. Tom moves away to London and Charlotte stays in Dublin. Both Charlotte and Tom are musicians but Charlotte focuses on her teaching career whilst Tom is in a popular band that is rapidly getting bigger and forever reminding Charlotte of what might have been if they had given the relationship a proper chance.

The story is written over a period of time as both characters develop and move on on their lives, Charlotte meets Jack, falls in love and get married, the expected progression in life, but all the while wondering what if.

Charlotte is a lovely lead character, she’s kind, relatable and like everyone else in the world, wonders if the grass is greener on the other side. Warmly written with poignant moments that makes for tender reading and with laugh out one liners and fantastic supporting characters, ‘Rewrite The Stars’ is a warm and cosy story that is perfect to curl up with on these cold autumn evenings.

You can buy ‘Rewrite The Stars’ from Amazon and is available from good bookshops.

The Day We Meet Again By Miranda Dickinson

The Day We Meet Again‘The Day We Meet Again’ is the latest book by Miranda Dickinson.

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t in the schedule. So they make a promise: to meet by the statue of Sir John Betjeman in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together. But is life ever as simple as that?

Known for writing heartwarming and poignant stories, Miranda’s latest offering is a stunning story of life discovery and grabs the readers heart strings from the very first page.

In this story, we meet Phoebe and Sam. Two strangers that literally run into one another at a train station, they spend some time together whilst they wait on their trains and both realise that they have a strong connection. But both of them already have lives mapped out for the next year and can’t make any adjustments, and decide that if they are meant to be, they’ll meet at the exact same spot in one year.

The story then follows them for the next year as they both try to find their places on life. Phoebe on her travelling around Europe and Sam as he tries to locate his father who disappeared from his life when he was a child.

This is such a lovely book to settle down with. With heart warming characters, stunning locations and a relatable situations, this book is a journey from start to finish as both Sam and Phoebe were searching for their places in life.

The story is seen through their narrative and this is a lovely concept to the story. Phoebe is undecided about her life and takes this year out to think about what’s wanting to achieve all whilst discovering France and Italy, doing odd jobs and meeting new friends along the way. Meanwhile Sam is returning home to Scotland to try to make amends with his estranged father and finally put to rest his troubled childhood. As the pair of them are both on a journey of self discovery, they are never far from each other’s thought, with calls, messages and postcards throughout the year.

A love story from the first page, this book is about right people but wrong time but instead of forgetting about it, we see them make the best of both worlds, putting themselves first with the hope that in a year later they will still feel the same. Both characters are slightly flawed and that makes them so relatable, Sam has a habit of running from his troubles echoing his father’s actions whilst Phoebe also has issues with settling down.

Sweetly written with vivid and bright locations, ‘The Day We Meet Again’ is an engrossing love story, that’s joins a couple on their journey as they fall in love with each other and themselves.
You can buy ‘The Day We Meet Again’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

We Met In December Book Tour – Extract

We Met In DecemberOn the book tour Rosie Curtis’ stunning new book called ‘We Met In December’, enjoy an extract from the first chapter of the Christmas story.

Jess
22nd December, 15 Albany Road, Notting Hill

I pause for a minute outside the house and look up, still not quite believing that this terraced mansion is home. It’s huge, slightly shabby, and has an air of faded grandeur. Six wide stone steps lead to a broad wooden front door, painted a jaunty red that is faded in places and chipped away to a pale, dusky pink. Each window on the road is topped with ornate stuccoed decorations – the ones on our house are a bit chipped and scruffy-looking, but somehow it just makes the place look more welcoming, as if it’s full of history.

Next door on one side is freshly decorated, the black paint of the windowsills gleaming. They’ve got window boxes at every window, crammed full of pansies and evergreen plants. I can see a huge Christmas tree tastefully decorated with millions of starry lights, topped with a huge metal star. There’s a little red bicycle chained to the railings and a pair of wellies just inside the porch. This must be the investment banker neighbours Becky talked about. The mansion on the other side has been turned into flats, and there’s a row of doorbells beside a blue front door.

I rush up the steps and lift the heavy brass door-knocker.

‘You don’t have to knock,’ Becky says, beaming as she opens the door. ‘This is home!’

‘I do, because you haven’t given me a key yet.’ I love Becky.

‘Ah.’ Becky takes my bag and hangs it on a huge wooden coat hook just inside the door, which looks like it’s been there forever. There’s a massive black umbrella with a carved wooden handle hanging beside my bag.

‘Used to be my grandpa’s,’ she says, absent-mindedly running a hand down it. ‘This place is like a bloody museum.’

‘I can’t believe it’s yours.’

‘Me neither.’ Becky shakes her head and beckons me through to the kitchen. ‘Now wait here two seconds, and I’ll give you the tour.’

I stand where I’ve been put, at the edge of a huge kitchen-slash-dining-room space, which has been here so long that it’s come back into fashion. It’s all cork tiles and dangling spider plants and a huge white sink, which is full of ice and bottles of beer.

I think Nanna Beth would be impressed with this. With all of it. I’ve taken the leap.

‘Life is for living, Jessica, and this place is all very well, but it’s like God’s waiting room,’ she’d once said, giving a cackle of laughter and inclining her head towards the window, where a flotilla of mobility scooters had passed by, ridden by grey-haired elderly people covered over with zipped-up waterproof covers. The seaside town I’d grown up in wasn’t actually as bad as all that, but it was true: things had changed. Grandpa had passed away, and Nanna Beth had sold the house and invested her money in a little flat in a new sheltered housing development where there was no room for me, not because she was throwing me out, but because – as she’d said, looking at me shrewdly – it was time to go. I’d been living in a sort of stasis since things had ended with my ex-boyfriend Neil.

Weirdly, the catalyst for all this change had been being offered a promotion in the marketing company where I worked. If I’d taken it, it would have been a job for life. I could have afforded to buy a little house by the sea and upgraded my car for something nice, and I’d have carried on living the life I’d been living since I graduated from university and somehow gravitated back home when all my friends spread their wings and headed for the bright lights of London, or New York, or – well, Sarah ended up in Inverness, so I suppose we didn’t quite all end up somewhere exotic.

But Nanna Beth had derailed me and challenged me with the task of getting out and grabbing life with both hands, which is pretty tricky for someone like me. I tend to take the approach that you should hold life with one hand, and keep the other one spare just in case of emergencies. And yet here I am, an hour early (very me) for a housewarming party for the gang of people that Becky has gathered together to share this rambling, dilapidated old house in Notting Hill that her grandparents left her when they passed away.

‘I still can’t believe this place is yours,’ I repeat, as I balance on the edge of the pale pink velvet sofa. It’s hidden under a flotilla of cushions. The arm of the sofa creaks alarmingly, and I stand up, just in case it’s about to give way underneath my weight.

Becky shakes her head. ‘You can’t? Imagine how I feel.’

‘And your mum really didn’t object to your grandparents leaving you their house in their will?’

She shakes her head and pops open the two bottles of beer she’s holding, handing me one. ‘She’s quite happy where she is. And you know she’s all property is theft and that sort of thing.’

‘True.’ I take a swig of beer and look at the framed photographs on the wall. A little girl in Mary-Jane shoes with a serious face looks out at us, disapprovingly. ‘She’s keeping her eye on you: look.’

Becky shudders. ‘Don’t. She wanted me to come to Islay for a Christmas of meditation and chanting, but I managed to persuade her that I’d be better off coming when the weather was a bit nicer.’

Becky’s mum had been a mythical figure to all of us at university. She’d been a model in her youth, and then eschewed all material things and moved to an ethical

living commune on the island of Islay when Becky was sixteen. Becky had stayed behind to finish her exams with a family friend, and horrified her mother by going into not just law, but corporate law of all things. Relations had been slightly strained for quite a while, but she’d spent some time in meditative silence, apparently, and now they got on really well – as long as they had a few hundred miles between them.

I look at the photograph of Becky’s mum – she must only be about seven. She looks back at me with an intense stare, and I think that if anyone can save the planet, it’s very possibly her. Anyway, I raise my bottle to her in a silent thank you. If she’d contested the will, Becky might not have inherited this place, and she wouldn’t have offered me a room at £400 a month, which wouldn’t have got me space in a broom closet anywhere else in commutable distance of King’s Cross, where my new job was situated.

‘Just going to get out of this jacket,’ Becky says, looking down at her work clothes; then she disappears for a moment and I’m left looking around. The house is old-fashioned, stuffed full of the sort of mid-century furniture that would sell for vast amounts of money on eBay – there’s an Ercol dresser in the sitting room and dining chairs that look like they’ve come straight out of Heal’s. I take a photo of the huge potted plant that looms in the corner like a triffid, and then I wander into the hall. It’s huge and airy, with a polished wooden banister that twirls round and up to the third floor where there’s a skylight – dark just now, because it’s midwinter, but I bet it fills this space with light in the middle of summer. There’s a huge wooden coat stand with a mirror by the interior door, and a porch with ceramic tiles worn through years of footsteps passing over them. The place must be 150 years old, at least. And – I push the sitting room door open – there’s enough space for everyone to collapse on the sofas in a Sunday-ish sort of way. The paintings on the walls are draped with brightly coloured tinsel and fairy lights, and there’s a Christmas tree on the side table, decked with multi-coloured lights and hung with a selection of baubles, which look—

‘Hideous, aren’t they?’ Becky’s voice sounds over my shoulder. ‘I couldn’t resist. They’re from the pound shop so I just went to town a bit. If you can’t be tacky at Christmas, when can you?’

‘I love it,’ I say, and I do. Becky disappears back into the kitchen and I can hear the sound of her warbling out of tune to Mariah Carey and the clattering of plates and saucepans. I stand in the hallway and look at this amazing house that I couldn’t afford in a million years, and I think back to about two months ago when I saw an advert for my dream job in publishing come up and wondered if I should take the chance and apply. And how Nanna Beth had said, ‘Nothing ventured, lovey – you never know what’s around the corner . . .’

If you liked the sound of this book and would like to read more, you can pre-order ‘We Met In December’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 3rd October 2019.

Butterfly In Frost By Sylvia Day

Butterfly In Frost”Butterfly In Frost’ By Sylvia Day is the latest book by Sylvia Day.

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future. Then Garrett Frost moves in next door. He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting. And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

It’s been a while since I read a book by Sylvia Day and her new one was an interesting change from the string of thrillers that I’d been indulging in recently.

In this book, the narrative is seen solely from the eyes of Teagan Ransom, a successful cosmetic surgeon who literally runs into her neighbour Garrett Frost. A handsome man with an attitude and as much as Teagan tries to avoid his advances, there’s no denying that there’s chemistry between the pair of them and they embark on a tentative yet passionate affair.

Like I was saying, it’s been a while since I read one of Sylvia’s books and she’s whisked me off on an exotic and erotic adventure and the intensity of this story certainly blew me away as the passion between Teagan and Garrett seemed to ignite from the pages.

As much as there was an erotic element to this story, there was a sweet and humorous side to the story as the couple got to know each other and tried to fix each other, particularly in the final chapter of the bittersweet tale.

At only 180 pages, this book can be consumed in one sitting and that’s exactly what I did. An intense and romantic love story that will take your breath away and includes characters from Sylvia’s previous novels which make a lovely surprise, ‘Butterfly In Frost’ is an emotional rollercoaster that will sweep you off your feet.

You can buy ‘Butterfly In Frost’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.