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Out Of Love By Hazel Hayes

Out Of Love‘Out Of Love’ is the debut book by Hazel Hayes.

As a young woman boxes up her ex-boyfriend’s belongings and prepares to see him one last time, she wonders where it all went wrong, and whether it was ever right to begin with. Burdened with a broken heart, she asks herself the age-old question . . . is love really worth it?

On Sunday morning, I curled up on my sofa and started this book and found it impossible to put down. A touching and honest reflection and observation on the breakdown of a relationship and how it all can go tragically wrong.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of the protagonist of the story, who’s never named at the exact moment that her ex boyfriend returns to their house to pick up his stuff. It’s whilst this happens that the story then deals with the aftermath of the relationship as well as as travelling back in time to key moments in the couple’s relationship.

For me, this book really struck a chord. It literally felt like Hazel has delved into my mind and written about my own relationships and insecurities. I connected with the character on such a level that I hasn’t happened to me for a long time with an author. The loved the protagonist in this story, she’s flawed, unsure but embraces all of it with wit and warmth that made for gripping reading. It was atmospheric from the first page and the vivid descriptions of nights out in Dublin literally leapt off the pages at me. I too, have experienced the cattle market that is Coppers and Hazel’s description of it described it perfectly, I only wish I had known about this third hand when I visited.

Beautifully written, the story is observant and reflective piece on the breakdown of a relationship, when the passion and love is replaced by tension and misery and the only option is to let go. ‘Out Of Love’ is a beautiful debut that is On Sunday morning, I curled up on my sofa and started this book and found it impossible to put down. A touching and honest reflection and observation on the breakdown of a relationship and how it all can go tragically wrong.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of the protagonist of the story, who’s never named at the exact moment that her ex boyfriend returns to their house to pick up his stuff. It’s whilst this happens that the story then deals with the aftermath of the relationship as well as as travelling back in time to key moments in the couple’s relationship.

For me, this book really struck a chord. It literally felt like Hazel has delved into my mind and written about my own relationships and insecurities. I connected with the character on such a level that I hasn’t happened to me for a long time with an author. The loved the protagonist in this story, she’s flawed, unsure but embraces all of it with wit and warmth that made for gripping reading. As the story delves into her past, we are confronted with her struggles with abuse and mental health and how she has become the strong woman that she is now. It was atmospheric from the first page and the vivid descriptions of nights out in Dublin literally leapt off the pages at me. I too, have experienced the cattle market that is Coppers and Hazel’s description of it described it perfectly, I only wish I had known about this third hand when I visited.

Beautifully written, the story is observant and reflective piece on the breakdown of a relationship, when the passion and love is replaced by tension and misery and the only option is to let go. ‘Out Of Love’ is a beautiful debut that is witty and warm tale that had me laugh at the Irish charm and cry at the brutal honesty.

You can buy ‘Out Of Love’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Truants By Kate Weinberg

The Truants‘The Truants’ is the latest book by Kate Weinberg.

Jess Walker, middle child of a middle class family, has perfected the art of vanishing in plain sight. But when she arrives at a concrete university campus under flat, grey, East Anglian skies, her world flares with colour. Drawn into a tightly-knit group of rule breakers – led by their maverick teacher, Lorna Clay – Jess begins to experiment with a new version of herself. But the dynamic between the friends begins to darken as they share secrets, lovers and finally a tragedy. Soon Jess is thrown up against the question she fears most: what is the true cost of an extraordinary life?

This book is an addictive tale of whodunnit and suspense. Right from the offset, I was pulled into the thick of the story with an unreliable narrator with obsessional tendencies.

The protagonist in the story is university student Jess who after much persistence finds herself on the course run by one of her favourite authors and fellow Agatha Christie fan, Lorna. Whilst at university, she meets Georgie, Alex and Nick, they quickly become close friends and Jess finds herself embroiled in an obsessional situation lusting after Alex even though he’s with Georgie. As the story develops, we see relationships change and a darker more suspenseful twist in the tale, much like an Agatha Christie novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it was atmospheric from the first page with the literary surroundings of the library, groups gatherings as well as parties where people shared opinions and viewpoints. The variation of personalities also made for interesting reading with the quiet and reserved Jess who mostly found her voice and opinion in Lorna’s class to the boisterous and flamboyant personality of Georgie.

The story flows at a nice pace and was easy to get absorbed in. Kate has a lovely style of writing, it’s suspenseful with a hint charm as well as fascinating to read about Agatha Christie’s life.

A coming of age novel about obsession and rivalry, ‘The Truants’ is a cleverly written and well researched story that had plenty of twists to keep me gripped along the way.

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

I Made A Mistake By Jane Corry

I Made A Mistake‘I Made A Mistake’ is the latest book by Jane Corry.

In Poppy Page’s mind, there are two types of women in this world: those who are faithful to their husbands, and those who are not. Until now, Poppy has never questioned which she was. But when handsome, charming Matthew Gordon walks back into her life after almost two decades, that changes. Poppy makes a single mistake – and that mistake will be far more dangerous than she could imagine. Someone is going to pay for it with their life.

I’ve come to really love books by Jane Corry. She always writes a gripping first line that grabs the readers attention and ‘I Made A Mistake’ is no different.

The story is seen from the narrative of booking agent Poppy Page and her mother in law Betty and the two narratives from both women are extremely compelling.

Poppy never got over her first love called Matthew and when he reappears into her life after being away for years, she finds herself drawn to him. After one reckless tonight together, Poppy finds herself being terrorised by Matthew as he claims that he’s never gotten over her. Betty, thought she found her soulmate called Jock who she married in the 1960’s but instead she founds herself controlled, alone and longing for a better life.

The story goes through the narrative of both characters back and forth in the past and present tense and I found this fascinating reading. I loved Betty, this strong vibrant character who’s priority is her family but as the story flashes back to the past tense, we follow her as she transforms from a meek character to a strong woman. The story reflects on the controlling aspects of relationships but also how women were treated and expected to behave in the 1960’s.

Poppy was also an interesting character, unsatisfied by her relationship, she’s flattered when the once love of her life reappears claiming undying love for her. Her head’s turned and when tragedy strikes, she finds herself in the spotlight.

The steady pace of the story really pulls the reader in, with the dual narratives plus the inclusion of court appearances, this book made for gripping and fascinating reading. In this story, Jane concentrates on the darker themes of society, such abuse, infidelity and lies and this made the story for addictive reading.

Riddled with tension and suspense throughout, ‘I Made A Mistake’ is a genuinely gripping psychological thriller, filled with twists and turns, this cleverly written story was a fantastic twisty tale.

You can buy ‘I Made A Mistake’ from Amazon and will be available buy from good bookshops.

A Wedding At The Beach Hut By Veronica Henry

A Wedding At The Beach Hut‘A Wedding At The Beach Hut’ is the latest book by Veronica Henry.

Robyn and Jake are planning their dream wedding at the family beach hut in Devon. A picnic by the turquoise waves, endless sparkling rosé and dancing barefoot on the golden sand. But Robyn is more unsettled than excited. She can’t stop thinking about the box she was given on her eighteenth birthday, and the secrets it contains. Will opening it reveal the truth about her history – and break the hearts of the people she loves most? As the big day arrives, can everyone let go of the past and step into a bright new future?

The latest book by Veronica is another heartwarming summer story that made for enjoyable reading.

Primarily seen from the perspective of Jake and Robyn, they are newly engaged after discovering that they are expecting their first child together. But what should be an exciting new for the pair, is the Robyn decides that becoming a mother is the moment when she is going to look for her birth mother. The story is also seen from the narrative of family and friends and their dramas and situations along the way.

Beautifully written, this book is a story of self discovery and finding your place in life. To know your future, you need to know your past and in this poignantly written story, we join Robyn on this journey and it makes for tender and warming reading.

I loved the characters, the dynamic between Jake and Robyn is lovely to read and it leapt off the page with their shared love for nature and being outdoors as well as the excitement and fear of becoming friends. I really enjoyed reading Robyn’s story as she ventured into her family history. One character that I particularly enjoyed was Gwen, Robyn’s older friend who was a wise and glamorous woman who always had an interesting story to tell.

A story, of love, family and relationships, this ‘The Wedding at the Beach Hut’ was a joy to read. With humour and charm this book about self discovery is the perfect uplifting summer story.

You can buy ‘A Wedding At The Beach Hut’ on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Magnificent Sons By Justin Myers

The Magnificent Sons‘The Magnificent Sons’ is the second book by Justin Myers.

Jake D’Arcy has spent most of his twenty-nine years trying to get his life just right. He’s nearly there: great girlfriend, great friends, stable job. A distant relationship with his boisterous family – which is exactly the way he wants it. So why does everything feel so wrong? When his popular, irritatingly confident teenage brother Trick comes out as gay to a rapturous response, Jake realises he has questions about his own repressed bisexuality, and that he can’t wait any longer to find his answers. As Trick begins to struggle with navigating the murky waters of adult relationships, Jake begins a journey that will destroy his relationship with girlfriend Amelia, challenge his closest friendships, and force him to face up to the distance between him and his family – but offers new friends, fewer inhibitions, and a glimpse of the magnificent life he never thought could be his.

The second book by Justin Myers is a touching and insightful about two siblings who as much as they annoy each other are on a similar journey.

Baby of D’arcy family, Trick is out and proud and never one to shy away from drama. Using his flamboyant behaviour, he’s an influencer with his two best friends creating videos on make up, life and his own journey. His older brother Jake is torn, attracted to both men and women, he has confused not only himself but others with his decision whilst breaking up his girlfriend’s heart.

In the story, we join the brothers on this coming of age journey of self discovery as the path of them adjust to new changes in each other’s lives as well as having to deal with people’s attitudes with life decisions.

I really enjoyed this book and found it to be quite an interesting and eye opening story as Jake struggled with his new decision in life losing and making new friends along the way. I felt such an empathy for Jake, as he struggled to deal with his younger brother, who both had so such in common but never really gave each other time of day.

Justin writes with warmth, wit and sensitivity about family, relationships and sexuality in this coming of age story. With relatable characters, ‘The Magnificent Sons’ is an observant and heartwarming story that made for emotional reading.

You can pre-order ‘The Magnificent Sons’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 6th August 2020.