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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.

Rebuilding Alexandra Small By Mo Fanning

Rebuilding Alexandra Small‘Rebuilding Alexandra Small’ is the latest book by Mo Fanning.

Six years sober, Alexandra Small has it all… and then one day, she very publicly doesn’t. When her perfect world crumbles, a face appears from Allie’s drunken past, hell bent on revenge. Can she rebuild her life before a stranger destroys it forever? And should she spend three weeks in an overheated shed having colonic irrigation with daytime TV’s Megan Macmillan? In this laugh out loud treat of a novel, Mo Fanning tackles the difficulties and misadventures of work, love, and being seen for who you really are.

Can I just say, that I loved this book!

I started reading it late on a Sunday evening which was a big mistake and spent most of Monday looking longingly at when I couldn’t read it.

The story is seen through the narrative of recovering alcoholic Allie, who’s life has fallen apart when her marriage to a famous footballer ends, she’s loses her job and someone is selling stories about to her the press.

All these things happen to Allie in a short time and not once does she give up. She keeps strong and is determined to reinvent herself and start a new career owning the childhood cafe that her and her best friend Izzy went to. She hires a handsome Polish solicitor called Tomas to sort out her divorce and like her, I found myself falling for the sweet character who’s like Allie in many ways.

I loved the characters in this book, they were vibrant, bitchy and strong females all out for justice and independence. Another character who was great was Megan, who was the face of daytime telly and is determined that Allie works with her to get both their careers back on track with her own failed marriage. She’s outspoken and ballsy and made for hilarious reading in parts.

The story is also written in the past tense in some parts, as Allie reflects on how she became an alcoholic and reliant on drink. This makes for sad reading at times, as her childhood was far from perfect with her own father battling depression.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I did have one small gripe. There was one character who was particularly vile to Allie and I would have loved to have seen more of her getting her comeuppance. Apart from that issue, this book was a fantastically uplifting read.

‘Rebuilding Alexandra Small’ is a fun and witty story about new beginnings, love and facing new challenges that is genuinely lovely reading.

You can buy ‘Rebuilding Alexandra Small’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Alice, Shaken And Definitely Stirred By Paula Smith

Alice, Shaken And Definitely Stirred‘Alice, Shaken And Definitely Stirred’ is the latest book by Paula Smith.

Lamenting the loss of her long-term partner and having been made redundant, Alice makes a New Year’s resolution to get on with life, and definitely without a man. But things don’t quite go to plan. As her Aunt Betty says, ‘Men, dear, are like buses, there are none on the horizon then three come along at once.’ Alice certainly is shaken and definitely stirred.

This is a deliciously upbeat start that made for fantastic reading.

Alice is dealing with the aftermath of her husband leaving her and suddenly having no job. But she was wise with her income and has some savings to tie her over and decides that a bit of a new look is in order. But this new look attracts all kinds of unwanted attention, particularly Ollie who’s looking after Alice’s favourite coffee shop. Alice can’t warm to Ollie even though everyone else has succumbed to his charms, she prefers her neighbours brother Alaistair and finds herself drawn to his charms.

I loved Alice, she’s vibrant, she’s outgoing and she’s at her most happiest when with her lovable nephew called Ben. I felt such empathy for Alice, having committed her life to her husband only to be treated so cruelly. Ben is such a warm little boy who adds some charm to the romantic story with his innocence.

This story is packed with drama and sass and made for genuine uplifting and fun reading. Filled with wit, warmth and relatable characters, ‘Alice, Shaken And Definitely Stirred’ is a coming of age story about finding yourself in life with a few mishaps along the way.

You can buy ‘Alice, Shaken And Definitely Stirred’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Real Men Knit By Kwana Jackson

Real Men Knit‘Real Men Knit’ is the latest book by Kwana Jackson.

Kerry Fuller has worked at Joy Strong’s knitting shop – Strong Knits – for years. And she’s had a secret crush on Joy’s son, heartbreaker Jesse Strong, for even longer. When Joy unexpectedly passes away, Jesse vows that he will keep the shop open, no matter what. And with no idea of where to start, he reaches out to Kerry for help. Soon Kerry is teaching Jesse all the knitty-gritty parts of the business – all the while trying to keep her heart from getting broken. The longer they spend together, the closer they become. But Kerry doesn’t believe their relationship can last longer than she can knit one, purl one. It’s up to Jesse to prove her wrong.

This was the perfect book to curl up with this morning, a story of love and friendship set in New York.

The story is seen through the narrative of Becky and Jesse, as they deal with the aftermath of losing their foster mother, Mama Joy. A huge spirit who helped many children including Jesse’s other brothers Damian, Lucas and Noah find a stable and loving home. With her passing, the brothers and Becky are determined that her knitting shop will continue.

Jesse and Becky are great characters. Jesse is a bit of a womaniser who leaves a string of broken hearts in his path and is adamant that Mama Joy’s knitting shop will be a success with him in charge and determined to prove his brothers wrong. He’s always had a bit of a soft spot for Becky but she’s completely oblivious whereas Jesse always had a piece of her heart. But when she has to move in with him when her apartment is being renovated, it’s interesting to see the dynamics between the pair of them. Becky witnesses the women coming and going and Jesse has to deal with new feelings with Becky as well as process his own grief over Mama Joy. I loved Becky’s spirit and her passion and she made for entertaining reading. The dual perspectives are also a great addition to the story as they interacted with each other and misinterpreted actions and words.

Although not blood brothers, Jesse and his brothers are always there for each other. Sweetly written with great characters, ‘Real Men Knit’ is a great story, that no matter the gender, everyone can knit and and it’s a powerful message that you don’t need to be connected by blood to be family.

You can buy ‘Real Men Knit’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.