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The Cursed Girls By Caro Ramsay

The Cursed Girls‘The Cursed Girls’ is the latest book by Caro Ramsay.

Megan Melvick has spent years avoiding her inheritance, the dark and disquieting family estate Benbrae, now home only to her distant, aristocratic father, and her sister Melissa, dying quietly in an upstairs bedroom. Trapped behind her unreliable hearing aids and vulnerable to what others want her to see, Megan is unable to find the answers she wants: why is there a new woman on her father’s arm? And why has their absent mother not returned to say a final goodbye to Melissa? Benbrae has always been a place of loss and misfortune for Megan, but as the Melvick family diminishes still further, she must ask one final question. If there is a curse on the house, will she be its next victim?

How do you like your psychological thrillers? If you like them set against the bleak backdrop of rural Scotland riddled with family tragedy and lies, then ‘The Cursed Girls’ is just for you.

The story is seen through the narrative of Megan who’s returned home just as her eldest sister called Melissa died from an eating disorder. Megan is the black sheep of the Melvicks family, she’s deaf and is always there in the background whilst Melissa was the beautiful and outspoken one of the family. On the day of Melissa’s wedding day, their mother Beth disappears and there’s a terrible fire that results in the death of Megan’s best friend Cara. Cara is a troubled character who’s had a hard life, suffering abuse from her mother various boyfriends and run ins with the police but she takes quiet Megan under her wing and they become an unlikely duo. Five years on from that Melissa is now also dead and people are trying to piece together disappearances and deaths.

The story is set in an old historical mansion called ‘The Italian House’, an ancestral home and has been said to the cause of generations of bad luck to the Melvicks, suicides and mental health. Megan has been witness to this curse, seeing people take their own lives as well as questioning her own mental health at times.

The story makes for interesting reading and I found myself undecided about Megan, occasionally I found her to be a likeable character and was sympathetic to her plight and other times, I found her unreliable and questioned her own innocence in the story. There was also a perspective from Cara, now dead she was written like a ghost in the story narrating her own demise and troubled past.

The story is cleverly crafted and written in such a twisty style that it was impossible to decide who was genuine and who was lying. All the characters are suspicious and all with ulterior motives and this all made for gripping reading, as I raced through the book and tried to piece together the unlucky fate of this troubled family.

Dark and atmospheric from the first page, ‘The Cursed Girls’ is a psychological thriller at its finest, packed with lies, secrets and troubled characters, this book made for haunting and gripping reading.

You can buy ‘The Cursed Girls’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

And Now You’re Back By Jill Mansell

And Now You're Back‘And Now You’re Back’ is the latest book by Jill Mansell.

One magical night in Venice, Didi fell in love. But it ended – and he left without even saying goodbye. Now, thirteen years on, Shay Mason is back. The old spark is still there, but Didi’s determined to ignore it. As manager of a stunning Cotswolds hotel, she’s happy at last, and soon to be married. Anyway, Shay isn’t staying. He’s made a promise to his father. He’s going to keep it. And then he’ll be gone. But Shay’s return stirs up long-forgotten emotions, and the scandal that led him to leave raises its head once again. It’s time for buried secrets to come to light. And it seems that this was someone’s intention all along.

The latest book by Jill is another romantic and emotional story that absorbed my attention this morning.

Didi and Shay met when they were teenagers and fell in love, but they broke up when Shay’s father Red was accused of a robbery and Didi began to lose trust in Shay. Years later, Didi is still running her parents hotel and is engaged to Aaron but when Shay returns after years of silence, they both begin to feel old emotions and feelings for each other. Shay is back as his father is dying and wants to returns to the homestead and make up for lost time with his son, due to his criminal ways.

This is a beautifully written story about lost love and new beginnings and makes for uplifting reading. The story is seen through the perspective of multiple characters as they all deal with various issues in their lives, Layla thought she has given up on love only to discover Harry and her mother Rosa is still trying to come to terms with the death of her husband Joe and has to sneak into her old home so she can revisit where she spread his ashes.

I loved the interaction between Shay and Didi and how far their lives have progressed since they broke up. Shay is no longer a lovable rogue but a successful businessman and has proven people wrong, that he’s not like his father and resorted to criminal ways. Didi has found love many times but none have ever lived up to Shay’s standard and he’ll always be the one that got away.

This story was a joy to read from start to finish, filled with relatable characters and touching moments that made for tender reading. ‘And Now You’re Back’ is a heartwarming story about first love and new beginnings.

You can buy ‘And Now You’re Back’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Summer Holiday By Jo Clegg

The Summer Holiday‘The Summer Holiday’ is the latest book by Jo Clegg.

Claire Swift can’t think of anything worse than another holiday with the Wellbeloved family. The last trip together was a complete disaster – yet somehow, despite Claire’s best efforts, they’re all off to the Cornish coast again this summer.
So, this time she’s coming prepared. But becoming a domestic goddess to keep up with perfect Honor Wellbeloved isn’t easy – especially when Claire is known for being clumsy and burns every meal she makes. And it’s not long before her carefully laid plans are going spectacularly wrong.

mer book, then this is just for you. Jo’s writing is fresh and warm and it’s easy to get absorbed in this enjoyable story. The characters are completely relatable as we all can identify at least one frenemy in our lives. That one friend who makes you feel awkward and inferior and Jo writes this deliciously. I loved Claire and found her such a sweet and kind character, even when she was dealing with Honor and her passive aggressive manner. I loved her determination to make the holiday perfect and even when the results were disastrous, she still remained cool.

Filled with warmth, humour and plenty of fun, ‘The Summer Holiday’ is a story about confidence, friendships and being true to yourself and is perfect holiday reading.

You can buy ‘The Summer Holiday’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Bad Choices By Lucy Vine

Bad Choices‘Bad Choices’ is the latest book by Lucy Vine.

Nat and Zoe have always shared everything. Hopeless crushes, emergency tampons, messy sex stories, work triumphs, those days where you can’t stop crying in the loos, those days where you can’t stop dancing on the bar. They even share the same birthday, FFS. The struggle is real, but they’ll always have each other. Except best friends forever is a hard promise to keep…

When it comes to book by Lucy Vine, I find them completely addictive and her latest book with its beautifully vibrant cover is no different.

The story is seen through the narrative of best friend Zoe Darling and Natalie Winters who meet in the school toilets one day when they get their periods for the first time. They also discover that on this milestone day that they share the same birthday and so begins their epic friendship.

Each chapter is a new year as they celebrate their birthdays together and discuss where they are in their lives. I loved the interactions between this pair, they are delightfully honest with each other and offer genuine love and concern for their happiness. Natalie is a delight, she’s a romantic at heart and is looking for the big love and when it comes her way is reluctant to let it go, even though it doesn’t make her completely happy. Whilst Zoe, is trying to find her place in the world and finds it difficult to see Natalie with new friends and her fear of being left behind.

Lucy is a pro at writing about the complexities and dynamics of female relationships. Her writing is fresh, witty and delightfully crude at times that I was regularly snorting with laughter. But she also writes tenderly of the pressure that women and society put on themselves, to find the perfect partner, job and be successful. This was the first book that I’ve got to review on a book tour for Lucy and I was genuinely honoured, as she’s become one of my favourite comedic authors.

With hilarious one-liners, dramas and nostalgia that make for delicious reading from the very first page, Lucy is back with another rollercoaster of a story that was genuinely uplifting to read. For anyone looking for books that will make you chuckle at creative dialogue and scenarios, I wholeheartedly recommend Lucy, as her books are a delight from start to finish and will always make you smile. Bad Choices’ is a wise and warm story that all women can relate to about life long friendships, the make ups and the mishaps.

You can pre-order ‘Bad Choices’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 10th June 2021.

Summer In The City By Fiona Collins

Summer In The City‘Summer In The City’ is the latest book by Fiona Collins.

Prue is not someone you would notice willingly. She likes to keep herself to herself and fade into the background. If it were not for the birthmark on her left cheek, she might actually succeed at becoming invisible. She spends all of her time with her blind father, Vince. Together, they sit in silence and ignore the vibrant city just on their doorstep. Life is as good as what’s on TV. That is, until something forces them both to go outside and see what they have been missing. For Vince, that means discovering how to see the world without his sight. For Prue, that means finding the courage to finally love and be loved in return.

For an uplifting story about new beginnings, I’d wholeheartedly recommend this book.

The story is seen through the narrative Prudence who lives with her father. Both people are reclusive characters, her father is blind whilst Prudence has a large birthmark on her face that she’s so self conscious of. The birthmark has really effected her self esteem and results in her not able to hold down a job or make new friends. Prudence and her father spend their days inside the house, until one day her father gives her a list of places that he’d like to visit in London. Now, both Prudence and her father have to step outside their comfort and embrace new adventures and friendships.

This is such a lovely warm-hearted story that made for joyous reading. Prudence is quite an introverted character who’s made hurt a lot in the past, not only by family but also in relationships, because of this she keeps to herself. She’s her father’s carer and spends her day inside the house whilst he listens to audio books and cooks delicious meals.

The interaction between the pair of them is lovely, as the fair of them face their fears and step outside. Prudence’s father hasn’t always been blind and as they rediscover the famous sights of the city and it’s touching as Prudence describes the scenes and her father reminiscences on his own memories. Her father was an architect and it’s fascinating to hear the history behind some of London’s most famous buildings.

It’s lovely to read the interaction between the pair of them and see them both grow in confidence as the story progresses and they begin to meet new people.

This is a beautifully written story and really captures the magic of London and new friendships. Descriptions are so vividly written and Prudence’s narrative is so descriptive that I literally felt like I was seeing London through new eyes. I loved Prudence, she’s shy but also straightforward which makes her a witty character. I loved joining her on a journey of self discovery and finally finding her place in life.

‘Summer In The City’ is a stunning story of new beginnings, and getting back out there. A feel good and poignant book that sweeps you away on holiday without leaving the house.

You can buy ‘Summer In The City’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.