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Love Life By Nancy Peach

Love Life‘Love Life’ is the latest book by Nancy Peach.

Palliative care doctor, Tess Carter, is no starry-eyed heroine. After all, if your dad left without a backward glance and you found your last boyfriend in bed with another guy, you wouldn’t believe in romance either. And the voices in Tess’s head – you know, the ones that tell you you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough – well, these voices are very loud. Very loud indeed. Especially when the disagreeable son of one of her patients starts challenging her every decision. Edward Russell might have a big job and a posh voice, but Tess is determined not to let him get to her, especially if she can get her inner monologue to stop with the endless self-sabotage. And Edward, it turns out, may be less of a prat than he first appears…

If you’re looking for a story that will tug at your heartstrings but will have you smiling then ‘Love Life’ is just the book for you.

The story is mostly seen through the narrative of hospice doctor Tess, who’s getting over a messy break up. When a new patient comes into the hospice called Mary, her son is a fond memory from Tess’s past. Unfortunately Edward does not remember Tess and is more concerned about his mother’s health than Tess. As Edward comes to terms with his mother’s health, they form an unlikely bond together.

There is also an inner dialogue that Tess has with Jane Austen as well as television who narrates the downfalls in Tess’s life. Tess’s life is complicated as she deals with self worth, heartbreak and an ongoing eating disorder battle.

The story is set in a hospice and this makes for bittersweet and warm reading as people come to terms with their mortality with humour whilst their relatives struggle with it.

This story is a heartfelt one that made for tender and fun reading that really struck a chord from the first page to the last. Filled with vibrant characters, all dealing with their internal struggles, ‘Love Life’ is a beautiful tearjerker about life, love and new beginnings.

You can buy ‘Love Life’ from Amazon.

The Secret Keepers Daughter By Samantha King

The Secret Keepers Daughter’‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ is the latest book by Samantha King.

Holly Mayhew has the perfect family set-up. But when her seven-year-old daughter, Marley, begins to act strangely, refusing to speak and rushing off to hide in her room, she knows something isn’t right. Desperate to understand why Marley has become so withdrawn, Holly creates a worry box, where Marley posts her thoughts each day. At first, the messages seem innocent. But when Holly finds a note saying secrets make me sad, she begins to question everyone entrusted with her care. Including her family.

I’m a bit late to the tour but for the last couple of days, I had my head stuck in this book.

The story is written in the past and present through the narrative of Holly, who’s little girl was withdrawn into herself and is leaving little notes giving Holly an insight into her fears. Holly is trying to deal with a new baby, a husband who’s never around whilst she’s dealing with a turbulent relationship with Amy. A woman who was brought into Holly’s life as a young girl and Holly was forced to adjust from being an only child to having someone disrupt your life at every turn.

I particularly loved the narrative from the past tense as it really gave an insight into Holly’s past and how Amy is introduced into her life. She’s brought to live with Holly’s family as her parents are friends with Holly’s and when her parents move to Paris for work. Her relationship with Holly is upsetting, she hurts her, lies and gets Holly into trouble, whilst Holly’s father fails to believe that Amy would do bad things. But as they grow older, they have a love hate relationship but are there for each other when things are tough they are there for each other.

Holly has a heart condition and because of this, she’s constantly wrapped up in cotton wool with her family tip toeing around her much to her frustration. As the story unfolds, we read new secrets and lies that we’re hidden from her and how her relationship is with her family was far from perfect.

The story is cleverly crafted with characters are both relatable and unlikable. Amy is a bit of toxic character, who’s jealousy toward sweet Holly is prevalent and even as older women, there’s an obvious rift between the pair.

A compelling and observational story about the dynamics of family relationships and the innocence of a child’s mind. ‘The Secret Keeper’s Daughter’ is a great read.

You can buy ‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ from Amazon

Make Yourself At Home By Ciara Geraghty

Make Yourself At Home‘Make Yourself At Home’ is the latest book by Ciara Geraghty.

Marianne left home when she was fifteen following a family tragedy, one that changed all their lives. She never planned to return. But when her carefully controlled life falls apart, she has no choice but to return to Ancaire, the ramshackle house overlooking the Irish Sea, where her mother, Rita, a flamboyant artist and recovering alcoholic still lives. As her mother invites her to pull up a chair and make herself at home, alongside the friends, family and neighbours who wander its rooms. Marianne discovers that sometimes home isn’t a house, it’s a place in your heart.

Ciara Geraghty is back with another Irish turbulent rollercoaster of a story about addiction, dysfunctional families and new beginnings.

The story is seen through the narrative of Marianne, a professional accountant who’s marriage has broken down and her addiction to shoplifting has been exposed. She’s now back living with her mother Rita, her grumpy Aunt Pearl and her foster brother Patrick, a brooding character, who’s quietness annoys Marianne.

Rita is a recovering alcoholic and is using her own battle to help others with her ‘Get Well Soon’ which others face their own addiction. The group is mish mash of colourful characters all complex and troubled in their own way and fighting their demons. Shirley is fiercely outspoken and protective of her 2 boys, Ethel an elderly woman lives with the guilt of alcoholism, whilst Bartholomew and Freddy are eternally sniping and flirting with each other.

The story flows at an interesting pace as Marianne adjusts to being back home and revisiting old memories and less happier times. Her relationship with Rita is turbulent as she remembers her mother as a drunk and not the kind soul who is now always trying to help others. As the story progresses, we see the relationship strengthen as both women become support for each other and Marianne forms an unlikely friendship with the ‘Get Well Soon’ group. We also see Marianne deal with the unexpected as she had spent most of her life in control and this makes for interesting reading as she has to step out of her comfort zone.

Filled with Irish wit and charm and plethora of personalities that made for laugh out loud and emotional reading, the latest book by Ciara is a real page turner and heartwarming story.

Beautifully written, ‘Make Yourself At Home’ is a sentimental and tender story filled with relatable characters, about family upheaval, heartbreak and the fear of letting go.

You can buy ‘Make Yourself At Home’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Bookshop Of Second Chances By Jackie Fraser

The Bookshop Of Second Chancesr‘The Bookshop Of Second Chances’ is the latest book by Jackie Fraser.

Thea’s having a bad month. Not only has she been made redundant, she’s also discovered her husband of nearly twenty years is sleeping with one of her friends. And he’s not sorry – he’s leaving. Bewildered and lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But, when she learns the great-uncle she barely knew has died and left her his huge collection of second-hand books and a house in the Scottish Lowlands, she seems to have been offered a second chance. Running away to a little town where no one knows her seems like exactly what Thea needs. But when she meets the aristocratic Maltravers brothers – grumpy bookshop owner Edward and his estranged brother Charles, Lord Hollinshaw – her new life quickly becomes just as complicated as the life she was running from…

I curled up on the Bank Holiday Monday with this book and it was just bliss from start to finish.

Set in a small Scottish village, it’s seen from the narrative of Thea who’s relocated due to her marriage breakdown and unexpected inheritance. Now living in an old house surrounded by antique books that are worth a lot of money. She’s becomes unlikely friends with Edward, who owns a bookshop and has employed her to bring his antique bookshop into the 21st century.

The 2 of them have a love/hate relationship and it’s so much fun to read their interactions between them. Edward is a charming character, who’s quite stand offish, but there’s something quite endearing about him as Thea brings him out of his shell. I loved Thea, she’s a sweetheart of a character. After her marriage broke down, she’s nursing a broken heart and through her love of books, she’s piecing it back together with new friendships and beginnings.

The story is wittily written filled with tender moments and laugh out loud scenes and Jackie surprises the reader with some colourful language that genuinely made me snort with laughter.

A romantic comedy that made for heartwarming reading and brightened up a dull bank holiday, ‘The Bookshop Of Second Chances’ is packed with joy, new starts and fun!

You can buy ‘The Bookshop Of Second Chances’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

A Mother Never Lies By Sarah Clarke

A Mother Never Lies‘A Mother Never Lies’ is the latest book by Sarah Clarke.

I had the perfect life – a nice house, a loving husband, a beautiful little boy. But in one devastating night, they were all ripped from me. It’s been fourteen years, and I’m finally ready to face the past. I’m taking my son back. He just can’t know who I am…or why we were torn apart.

I started this book one evening and once I started, it was difficult to put it down.

The story is seen through the narrative of mother and son Phoebe and Charlie. Phoebe had to give up Charlie for adoption but she’s never given up on him and now 18 years later, she’s hoping to reunite with him. Charlie who’s now called Ben is unaware of the strange woman who rescued him from almost being beaten up.

The flawed characters in this story make for fascinating reading. The story is written in past and present tense and it’s obvious that Phoebe once was happily married but her world fell apart and she’s now paying the price. Leaving with her parents, her alcoholic disillusioned mother who’s quite a sweet character. Ben has anger issues but sees something in Phoebe who is known as Fiona.

As the story flows between the various years, it gives a real insight into the type of person Phoebe was, carefree, happy and in love. The aftermath of that tragic night, has left her scared, unsettled and longing for a better life and to get her family back.

From the first page it’s obvious that something terrible has happened and Sarah has cleverly created a story that is filled with tension and intrigue as we delve into Phoebe’s life. Phoebe is a sympathetic character that we can relate to, she’s the underdog of the story that we all champion for a better life.

A tense and atmospheric domestic noir with short and snappy chapters that made for gripping reading, ‘A Mother Never Lies’ is a complex drama about the strength of a mothers love.

You can buy ‘A Mother Never Lies’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.