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The Minute I Saw You By Paige Toon

'The Minute I Saw You’The Minute I Saw You’ is the latest book by Paige Toon.

Some people believe that it’s possible to fall in love simply by gazing into another person’s eyes, but Hannah, who spends her working life staring into the eyes of strangers, has never felt anything out of the ordinary for any of her clients. Then she meets Sonny, and a spark ignites between them that’s hard to ignore and impossible to forget. Weeks later, they cross paths again, but Sonny’s whole demeanour has changed. Gone is the sexy, laidback, confident man that Hannah was so attracted to, and in his place is someone who can barely make eye contact at all. It soon transpires that Sonny is at a crossroads. He’s committed to making serious life changes, but these changes can’t and won’t include romance.
Hannah, who is only temporarily housesitting her uncle’s cottage, has her own reasons for wanting to keep their budding friendship platonic. But as summer hots up and the chemistry between them sizzles, Hannah and Sonny discover that there’s more to each of them than meets the eye.

Yesterday I spent my day with my head buried in Paige’s latest book, a story of new beginnings and friendships.

The story is seen through the narrative of Hannah, who works in an opticians and it’s in this job that she meets Sonny Denton. Both are attracted to each other but agree to be friends, but as they spend more time together, they realise that it’s difficult to maintain a platonic friendship.

I’ve been a fan of Paige’s books for years, they’ve accompanied me on many a bus or train journey, transporting me to another time and place and her latest book was just as absorbing.

Paige has an incredible skill of creating handsome and charismatic men and Sonny was no different, charming, witty and slightly damaged that made the reader want to look after him. I loved Hannah as well, fun and relatable and I really enjoyed the scenes of banter between the pair of them. Both of them have underlying secrets and problems and it’s through their confidence in each other, that they grow strength to face them. There is also the addition of an adorable dog that added a hint of cuteness to the story.

The story is set in Cambridge and is filled with vivid descriptions of the city and the canal activities that was very prominent in the story. The story also included the return of Joe Strike and his wife Alice from Paige’s previous book called ‘One Perfect Summer’ and it was lovely to see the return of the dynamic couple.

A fun and sexy story that was a joy to read from start to finish. Paige has written another tender and uplifting book that will have you laughing and crying in equal measure. ‘The Minute I Saw You’ is an unique tale, with relatable and fascinating characters that stays with you long after you close the final page.

You can buy ‘The Minute I Saw You’ from Amazon and is available from good bookshops.

The Flipside By James Bailey

The Flipside‘The Flipside’ is the debut novel by James Bailey.

When Josh proposes in a pod on the London Eye at New Years’ Eve, he thinks it’s perfect. Until she says no. And they have to spend the next 29 excruciating minutes alone together. His life is falling apart. Realising he can’t trust his own judgment, Josh decides from now on he will make every decision through the flip of a coin. Maybe the coin will change his life forever. Maybe it will help him find the girl of his dreams.

I was raging with myself when I started this book late one evening, as soon as I started I was snorting throughout and knew it was going to be an enjoyable story. So, the following day I put some time aside to properly delve it and boy, was it worth it.

The story starts at the point that Josh proposes to his girlfriend called Jade, having booked a pod on the London Eye, he wants it to be a magical. But by the time he has stepped off the London Eye, he’s single, homeless and jobless. With his tail between his legs Josh leaves the busy streets of London for the pub quizzes of Bristol as he tries to get his life back in order with his best friends, Jake and Jessie and the help of a 50p coin that he is convinced will help him make the best decisions in his life. But whilst supporting Jessie taking part in the London Marathon, Josh runs into a woman who affectionately becomes known as ’Sunflower Girl’ as they met in an art gallery and with the aid of the 50p coin and his best friends, finds himself flying across Europe hoping to meet her again.

Right from the start, this book was a fun and fresh story and it’s refreshing to see a man writing about romance and Josh has done is superbly with, the witty dialogue, the colourful characters and the hilarious scenarios that Josh gets into dependent on the flip of the coin.

The characters are completely fun and relatable, where they were are a point in their lives where it’s expected to know who and what you want to do be doing with your life. Josh approaches this pressure and questions with humour and for this, made the book a charming read. His parents are equally as fun, with his buying shop bought Victoria Sponge but adding some more jam to prove the illusion that she made it herself and his dad was a regular Del Boy with scams and moneymaking ideas at every opportunity. One thing, I loved was the dynamics of Josh’s friendship with Jake and Jessie, I loved it when the friends got together as the banter between was always honest and fun, but even though they think Josh is mad with the 50p flipping, they support him and are there for him along the way.

There are many parts of this story that I enjoyed but I really loved accompanying on his search across Europe to find ’Sunflower Girl’ and when it took him to Paris, I loved the vivid descriptions of ‘Shakespeare and Company’, a wonderful bookshop that I also visited on my own visit to Paris, so reading these entries were a welcome return.

I loved this debut and the concept behind it and would love to read more about Josh and his friends as they embark on new adventures in their lives. A deliciously fun and fresh story which is a welcome distraction from what is going on in the world, ‘The Flip Side’ is a roller coaster of a story, or should I say a London Eye. Packed with banter, drama and a seriously cute rabbit called Jeremy, I found this quick witted and cleverly written book to be the perfect pick me up, no matter what side your coin falls on.

You can buy ‘The Flipside’ from Amazon for 99p on the Kindle Store and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 20th November 2020.

The Switch By Beth O’Leary

The Switch‘The Switch’ is the latest book by Beth O’Leary.

Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

‘The Switch’ is the welcome return to Beth O’Leary who after the success of her debut called ‘The Flatshare’ has become one of my favourite authors.

Like ‘The Flatshare’, her latest book is another dual narrative and this time it’s from grandmother and grand daughter duo, Eileen and Leena who both are at turning points in their lives and need a change of scenery, so they decide to switch homes and take a break from their lives.

Leena has to take a break from the busy streets from London and her grandmother is tired of the countryside and wants the opportunity to kick up her heels. A young woman at heart, age is but a number for Eileen and enjoys spending her days between the sheets with her dapper lover called Jackson, whilst getting to enjoy Leena’s friends. Leena has enjoyed the slower pace of life in Yorkshire, blending in with the community and getting to know Ethan, a handsome and kind man that the elderly ladies are fiercely protective off.

Beth is genuinely a lovely writer, a fresh voice in fiction. Her books pull the readers in with their charm, unique plots with relatable characters that makes for addictive reading.

This book is a lovely coming of age story about 2 people trying to find their place in life and sometimes to do that, you need to mix things up a bit to get on the right path. I loved Leena, a relatable woman who’s trying to find the right career for her and establish herself into a successful relationship. In London, we seen a struggling young woman who blossoms and glows in the slower pace of life in the Yorkshire village, helping with events and making new friends along the way. I adored Eileen, her passion for life and voracity to have fun radiated from the pages with her sharp tongue and creativity.

A heartwarming and charming story, that tackles the hardships of mental health and grief with sensitivity, ‘The Switch’ is another uplifting and slice of feel good fiction from Beth O’Leary. With drama, humour and poignancy throughout, Beth has successfully mastered the second novel with an outstanding triumph.

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

How To Marry Your Husband By Jacqueline Rohen

'How To Marry Your  Husband‘How To Marry Your Husband’ is the debut novel by Jacqueline Rohen.

Rachel vowed that she would love David for better or worse…But when she spots him kissing another woman, she knows their marriage is over. And she’s determined to get her revenge through divorce. The trouble is, her romantic destination wedding wasn’t exactly legal – so if she wants to divorce her husband, she’ll have to marry him first. But as Rachel recreates the magic of their early days in a bid to lure David back down the aisle again, will it bring back long-lost feelings for him too?

I started this book last night ahead of my spot of the tour and I immediately became hooked on the story of Rachel and David. But to my shock this morning, I received an email that Jacqueline, the author had suddenly passed away and I felt such an sadness, for her family and friends and for the fact that this was her debut novel and she’ll never know how much it made me smile or quietly chuckle at.

The story is seen through the narrative of supposed married couple David and Rachel. Thinking David is her soulmate, Rachel is heartbroken to see him kiss another woman and finds herself questioning the relationship. David regrets after questioning his marriage and just as Rachel decides that their marriage isn’t real, David decides to woo her back and give her the day, she always dreamt off, unaware that she knows all about his infidelity.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this story, both characters are fun and relatable as they try to solve their marriage problems. Rachel’s fun and has gotten used to the security blanket of marriage and when it all comes into question, she begins to wonder what is on the other side. As she unknowingly leaves a trail behind, this panics David as it’s now that he has realised how important she is to him. I really liked Norma, Rachel’s outspoken mother and Barry, David’s feckless friend.

The perfect romantic comedy to enjoy, ‘How To Marry Your Husband’ is delicious and fun story about mistakes and start over that Jacqueline Rohen should be incredibly proud to be her debut.

You can buy ‘How To Marry Your Husband’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

My Pear Shaped Life By Carmel Harrington

'The Husband's Confession‘My Pear Shaped Life’ is the latest book by Irish author Carmel Harrington.

Greta Gale has played the part of the funny fat one her entire life, hiding her insecurities behind a big smile. But size doesn’t matter when you can laugh at yourself, right? Until Greta realises she’s the only one not laughing. And deep down, she’s not sure if she’ll ever laugh again. But Greta is about to discover that sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped…

This was the first book by Carmel Harrington that I have I read and once I started this story, I found it hard to put down.

Greta Gale is an aspiring actress who has a bit of an addition to sleeping pills, after taking one too many Greta finds herself in rehab confronting her demons and trying to figure out why life has taken on this particular journey. Once she’s released home to her tentative family, Greta finds herself at a standstill unsure of what to do next. But, help comes in the shape of her favourite uncle, Ray when he decides that she and he are going to go to America and do a road trip so that he can confront the woman who stole his heart many years ago as well as seeing Dr Greta Gale, who is Greta’s namesake and hero, an outspoken and inspirational life coach.

I absolutely adored this book, Set in Ireland, there is a warm and familiar feel to the characters, as they chatted about the Irish channels and television shows that I occasionally watched. I loved Greta, she’s warm and kind and has never felt comfortable or welcome in own her family, as she didn’t fit in with the norm of their slender forms, so she finds escapism in the shape of sleeping pills. Even though, she is an extremely talented actress who’s loved by all who meet her, she is always belittling her and comparing herself to others. This book is wholeheartedly like ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ by Marian Keyes, about a woman who accidently overdoses and loved this book just as much.

The adventure across America with Ray and Greta makes for warm and entertaining reading, as the pair embark on their Wizard of Oz inspired trip with drama and humour along the way.

Wonderfully written with humorous and relatable characters, ‘My Pear Shaped Life’ pulls the reader right in from the very beginning like a warm hug. Focusing on the pressures of appearance, society and social media, this charming Irish tale is perfect for fans of life affirming stories with an injection of magic and wit.

You can buy ‘My Pear Shaped Life’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.