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The No Show By Beth O’Leary

The No Show‘The No-Show’ is the latest book by Beth O’Leary.

Three women. Three dates. One missing man. 8.52 a.m. Siobhan is looking forward to her breakfast date with Joseph. She was surprised when he suggested it – she normally sees him late at night in her hotel room. Breakfast on Valentine’s Day surely means something … so where is he? 2.43 p.m. Miranda’s hoping that a Valentine’s Day lunch with Carter will be the perfect way to celebrate her new job. It’s a fresh start and a sign that her life is falling into place: she’s been dating Carter for five months now and things are getting serious. But why hasn’t he shown up? 6.30 p.m. Joseph Carter agreed to be Jane’s fake boyfriend at an engagement party. They’ve not known each other long but their friendship is fast becoming the brightest part of her new life in Winchester. Joseph promised to save Jane tonight. But he’s not here. Meet Joseph Carter. That is, if you can find him.

Beth is back with another thought provoking, warm and charming story that gripped my attention this weekend.

The story is seen from the narrative of three women, Jane, Siobhan and Miranda who all have one thing in common, they all know a man called Joseph Carter. All women are completely different in personalities and situations, Jane is a quiet, meek woman who volunteers at a charity shop, she keeps to herself, living a life of routine and living her messy past behind, Siobhan is a fiery Irish woman who’s a life coach and travels to London every month for work whilst Miranda is a tree surgeon, enjoys working amongst a team of men. All three women are all falling for Joseph with his charms and good looks, until one day he doesn’t show up and they all wonder what’s Joseph Carter’s story.

The story flows between the three women during a period of time and it really does make for fascinating reading as the three of them interact unaware of their connection with Joseph. I loved reading how each one of them were affected by Joseph and the huge differences he made to their lives.

The mixture of personalities and scenarios made this story a joy to curl up with. Beth has written another brilliant multi-layered story that is poignant, rich in humour and packed with relatable characters. The various narratives weave beautifully together, bringing the story to a tidy conclusion that really warmed my heart.

‘The No-Show’ is another beautifully written story. From the first page, Beth has delivered a story that will make you cry, swoon and your heart ache about love, friendship and new beginnings.

You can buy ‘The No-Show’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lord Seeks Wife By Heather Barnett

Lord Seeks Wife‘Lord Seeks Wife is the latest book by Heather Barnett.

Reclusive academic Lord Noblet de Beeble doesn’t want to get married but his overbearing mother, Lady Caroline, is insisting he must. When he places an advert for a wife in the Situations Vacant section of his local newspaper, the national press pick up the story. A desperate Noblet calls on his handsome younger brother, Henry, to help him navigate the subsequent media frenzy. Among the hordes of hopeful candidates to descend on the village of Gently Rising is the beautiful and mysterious Mia Wild, who befriends local primary school teacher, Alice Brand. Alice has been looking for something to spice up her life, but getting embroiled in a very public wife-hunt wasn’t what she had in mind. In a summer packed with suspicious exes, snobbery, social climbers and sausage rolls, Gently Rising will bear witness to a public courtship like no other. But who will come out on top?

If you like quirky books filled with eccentric characters and madcap scenarios, then ‘Lord Seeks Wife’ is just for you.

Unfortunately named, Noblet George William Chatterton de Beele, 14th Earl of Pantling is seeking a wife and decide of going the traditional route of going to the pub or joining Tinder, he decides to put an advert in the local paper much to his mother’s despair.

The story then follows Noblet and his brother Henry as they try to whittle down the aspiring Ladies who have travelled to the small village of Gently Rising to audition for the position. The story is also seen through the narrative of Sinead Murphy, a ruthless young woman who’s determined to become the next Lady, Alice, a quiet schoolteacher and the mysterious Mia, a newcomer to the village who’s caught everyone’s attention particularly Noblet and Saskia’s Henry fiery girlfriend.

This story is fun with capital F. I loved Noblet with his aristocratic way of going on, he was charmingly laid back and oblivious to the ways of the world and seemed more interested in a companion rather than a wife. There are some wonderful characters in the story from the sharp tongue of Lady Caroline, Noblet’s mother to Lorraine, an eccentric character who was convinced that she was the one for Noblet and would go to quite extreme measures just to be alone with him, they all added a lot of colour and humour to the book. It was also hilarious to read how the small village coped with suddenly being under-siege by all this aspiring ladies and the it was put under the spotlight.

There was a lovely flow to the story, with the interweaving characters and stories all blending together nicely.

A charming story rich in warmth and fun, ‘Lord Seeks Wife’ is the perfect escapist book to curl up with.

You can ‘Lord Seeks Wife’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Rachel’s Holiday By Marian Keyes

Rachel’s HolidayIt’s hard to believe that it’s 25th years since the Irish wonder that is Marian Keyes released ‘Rachel’s Holiday’

Meet Rachel Walsh. She’s been living it up in New York City, spending her nights talking her way into glamorous parties before heading home in the early hours to her adoring boyfriend, Luke. But her sensible older sister showing up and sending her off to actual rehab wasn’t quite part of her plan. She’s only agreed to her incarceration because she’s heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, spa treatments and celebrities going cold turkey – plus it’s about time she had a holiday. Saying goodbye to fun and freedom will be hard – and losing the man who might just be the love of her life will be even harder. But will hitting rock bottom help Rachel learn to love herself, at last?

I remember reading this book on a girls holiday whilst lying on a beach in Santa Ponsa and trying to stop my pasty Irish skin from burning. I remember vividly on that holiday grabbing every spare minute that I could find to keep reading as I connected with Rachel on so many levels at that time. In an unhappy relationship, envying the singletons around me and wondering where I was going with my life. It was a complex time.

The story is seen solely through the rose tainted glasses of Rachel, who’s refusing to believe that she has a drug addiction as well as tried to take her own life. After being taken away from the bright lights of New York to the lino lined floor of the Cloisters, she’s hoping to run into celebrities to make her stay more adventurous but instead she’s having to face up to her ghosts and take a long hard look at herself.

Rachel is the woman that all women can identity with, insecure, unhappy, depressed, low self esteem. Her troubles are as long as a Tesco club card receipt, yet we all get her and think of her an inspiration, a shining light of courage and bravery.

This book is a witty and warm hearted tale about substance abuse, addiction and depression and Marian has handled these tough issues with such wit and charm that has made her one of the world’s most favourite authors. Her books have gone on to have inspired countless authors including an aspiring author, like myself. And it’s wonderful to hear that we will be meeting Rachel in 2022 with Marian’s new book called ‘Again Rachel’.

The story is written in the past and present tense, leading up to the fateful night of overdose and right from the start, this book is a hard hitting read, As Rachel adapts to her new life with like-minded people, who she refuses to believe that she has anything in common with. They have to face daily meetings with counsellors, her inmates as well as their significant others as they try to realise the damage that they are doing to themselves and others.

To the outside world, Rachel is the life and soul of the party and it really does make for sobering reading as it finally dawns on Rachel, the consequences of her behaviour and the effect it has on others and this is genuinely heartbreaking reading.

In true Marian style, no book is complete without the drama of the Walsh family, their competitive and bitchy nature but fiercely loyal behaviour made for warm reading. Whilst the inmates at the Cloisters, were a huge variety of personalities that riled and connected with each other, are always there with a shoulder or a bar of chocolate for support.

It’s hard to put together a review of this book, as no amount of wordage can really sing the praise of how brilliant ‘Rachel’s Holidays’ is. It’s coming of age, it’s witty, it’s bleak, it’s inspirational and at the heart of it all, it’s a love story – about a woman falling back in love with herself.

A book that I could easily read over and over again and still snort and cry at, happy anniversary to ‘Rachel’s Holidays’, a triumph of a story that’s written with such humour and charm but tackles substance and addiction abuse with skill.

You can buy ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ 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.

If you’re looking for a fun and relatable summer 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.