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How Not To Fall In Love Actually By Catherine Bennetto

How Not To Fall In Love Actually‘How Not To Fall In Love Actually’ is the latest book by Catherine Bennetto.

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it. Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless.

‘How Not To Fall In Love Actually’ is a deliciously fun story that had me giggling throughout the Easter holidays.

In this story, we meet Emma George, who discovers that she’s pregnant. Unhappy with life, she ditches her scam artist boyfriend Ned, who’s constantly looking to discover the next big thing and she leaves her job as a television assistant.

Single, with no money, she finds herself living in the house, that her recently deceased grandmother left her in her will, with a drunk stranger living as her lodger and her new job is chaperone on a zombie apocalypse film with her cheeky cousin, Archie.

I absolutely loved this story, Catherine’s writing is a breath of fresh air, she’s writes with wit and honesty that truly made for genuinely funny reading.

Emma is a wonderful character, she’s bright and outspoken with a fun side. She tackles her unexpected pregnancy courageously and instead of settling in life, she prepares for parenthood alone.

The characters along with Emma are wonderfully entertaining, from her opinionated mother who constantly feels like she is being let down, to her nosy neighbour Harriet. As well as the addition of the handsome and kind Joe, who Emma takes pity on when he finds his fiancee cheating.

Packed with humour and plenty of laugh out loud moments, ‘How Not To Fall In Love Actually’ is a deliciously fun and charming story that had me laughing throughout, filled with twists and turns, this book is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane.

You can buy How Not to Fall in Love, Actually from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Housekeeper By Suellen Dainty

The Housekeeper‘The Housekeeper’ is the latest book by Suellen Dainty.

When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend, (who also happens to be her boss), leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley, is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true. Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.

When Anne discovers that her partner and her boss has been cheating on her, she’s quits her job and decides that she wants to do something drastically different in her life.

So, when she sees an advert for celebrity power couple Emma Helmsley and Rob, looking for a housekeeper, she jumps at the chance. The couple are both well known psychologists but Emma moved away from psychology and branched into household management and organisation, writing books about organisation and has a huge following with her daily notes of motivational and inspirational advice, which Anne has actively followed.

As Anne settles into her new role, she loves being embroiled in the chaotic family, where there is never a quiet moments with their comings and goings and flamboyant parties, but as her time with the family continues, Anne discovers that the family isn’t quite as perfect as the she and the outside world are led to believe.

The story is filled with many interesting and complex characters. I found myself having a strong empathy with Anne, she’s alone in the world having lost her mother as a child and was brought up by her granny who sadly passed away, she has a best friend Jude, but her time is taken up with her twins. So when she begins to work for Emma and Rob, she naturally falls into the role of housekeeper, chef and listener, she finds a place in life and within the family, she feels wanted and has a purpose and has finally gotten the family she always wanted.

She finds herself drawing closer to Rob, a charismatic and handsome man that people are drawn to, instinctively she’s attracted to him, but after time she finds him intriguing as he works on the memoirs of Rowan McLeish, a psychiatrist, who had an unique way of helping his patients and as Rob tells Anne about his findings about Rowan, it brings Anne back to a strange time, as snippets of her childhood come back to her.

Emma, is a wonderful character, her career is to offer advice and be a motivational speaker, on how to be organised but her own life and house is absolute chaos, that’s why she employed Anne. To the outside world, she’s perfect but in real life, she’s scatty, insecure and constantly looking for reassurance. She confides in Anne and is a far cry from the professional persona that she claims.

With a delightfully dark cover, ‘The Housekeeper” is a complicated and twisted tale about lies and deceit. Atmospheric from the start, the story is cleverly written with regulars shocks and unexpected surprises that keeps the reader engaged. With a selection of delicious characters that are all far from perfect, the story is about the complexities of life, the desire to fit in and what you see isn’t always what is true.

You can buy The Housekeeper from Amazon

Our Song By Dani Atkins

Our Song‘Our Song’ is by Dani Atkins.

This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they’ve never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally’s ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever.

Dani Atkins is one of those authors, whose books pull you in and consume you, the first book I read by her was ‘Fractured’ and this book broke my heart and so when I started reading ‘Our Song’ I mentally prepared myself for heartbreak and to be honest, nothing could prepare me for the pain that this song inflicted on me.

The story is seen through the narrative of Ally and Charlotte, who unfortunately meet one night when both their husbands are brought into hospital. The two women know each other from their university years, when Ally dated Charlotte’s husband David. Ally and David met at university, he wooed her and they fell madly in love, they thought their love was forever but life and Charlotte got in the way.

The story is written past and present tenses and is seen from the perspective of both women as they deal with the upset and worry for their husbands. Ally’s husband, Joe was injured after heroically rescuing a little boy and his dog and was left with hypothermia. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s husband, David has developed a virus in his heart and is in need for a heart transplant.

As the story moves on, flashing from past to present, we meet two women who were initially arch enemies and hate the sight of one another become companions and offer support to each other forming an unlikely bond during the hard time.

The two leading ladies are a wonderful contrast to each other. Ally has a sweet, gentle nature underneath her tough exterior whereas Charlotte has a bit of an ice maiden vibe about her but she’s really a kind soul, who’s always felt insecure and inferior to Ally, who was David’s first love.

Spanning over a number of years, this book is cleverly written with intersecting paths and long lost characters meeting up along the way. Emotionally charged with strong and relatable characters, the story is about the fragility of life, friendship and addresses the issue of revisiting old ghosts and lost love.

A tear jerker of a novel that will break the hardest of hearts, ‘Our Song’ is a beautifully written and intelligent story that left me in a sobbing mess.

You can buy Our Song from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Queen Of Wishful Thinking By Milly Johnson

The Queen Of Wishful Thinking‘The Queen Of Wishful Thinking’ is the latest book by Milly Johnson.

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her. As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

St Patrick’s Day saw me drop everything and curl up with Milly’s latest literary offering. In this book we meet the charming and delightful Bonnie, a woman who is unhappy in both her work and home life. Married to a controlling and patronising man, she longs for a change and when the opportunity arises for that change, she seizes it with both hands. Daring to speak out against her previous employer, Bonnie finds herself without a job but when handsome Lewis, a newcomer to the village discovers that his staff at his antique shop is stealing from him, he offers Bonnie a job.

With a few extra pound in her pocket and a spring in her step, Bonnie feels a bit happier in life, she enjoys her time with Lewis and the interaction between the two is sweet and enjoyable. Bonnie introduces Lewis to people who can make his small antiques shop thrive and the two of them embark on making ‘Pot of Gold’ the best it can possibly be.

The story flows between both Bonnie and Lewis and this is entertaining and warmhearted reading. Lewis is married to Charlotte, a vain and high maintenance woman who always wants to have the latest designer brand on her arm, demanding, she is the polar opposite to Bonnie, a kind woman with a big heart and Lewis begins to see this as the story progresses. Lewis moved away to the quiet village after his health scare and it seems that Charlotte is unable to deal with the slower pace of life, whereas Lewis has settled in marvellously.

I adored Bonnie and felt an overwhelming empathy for her as she struggled to live a better life, much older and wiser for her years, she longs to escape the controlling clutches of her dominant husband, but she feels powerless over the secret that he holds over her, until one day she finally breaks free and becomes an independent woman, creating her own little home from scratch with the help from the kind people of the village, who have all come to love Bonnie.

The relationship between Bonnie and Lewis is a sweet one, as they embark on a tentative friendship, but begin to see each other in a different light as they both deal with their emotional baggage.

Like Milly’s previous books. ’The Queen of Wishful Thinking’ is a deliciously fun and witty story, filled with humorous characters, one liners, as well as regular apologies from the local newspaper ‘Daily Trumpet’ for misprinting information, there was rarely a dull moment in this delightful story. Packed with relatable and lovable characters, that you will love and hate in rapid succession, this book was impossible to put down and the sweet inclusion of a dog called Bear who has based on Teddy, Milly’s beloved dog who passed away last year, it made for tender reading.

A book that I couldn’t put down but also didn’t want to end and is most certainly Milly at her very best. Funny, sweet and an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, ‘The Queen Of Wishful Thinking’ is a book that I could happily read, over and over again.

You can buy The Queen of Wishful Thinking from Amazon. and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Cover Reveal – The Queen Of Wishful Thinking

I’m so delighted to be revealing the cover to Milly Johnson’s first ever hardback book, ‘The Queen Of Wishful Thinking’ and what’s even more exciting, I’m quoted on the back!

The synopsis of ‘The Queen Of Wishful Thinking’ is –

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

Sounds like another witty and warmhearted story from one of Yorkshire’s finest authors.

You can pre-order The Queen of Wishful Thinking from Amazon. ‘The Queen Of Wishful Thinking’ will be published as a Library Hardback edition on 9th March, with the paperback following on 4th May.

The Queen Of Wishful Thinking Hardback