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Just For Today By Nell Hudson

Just For Today‘Just For Today’ is the latest book by Nell Hudson.

It all starts on New Year’s Eve. A night that has to be a success, whatever the cost. For Joni and her friends, it’ll be a party that promises all the high stakes and glamour of any other, but by sunrise they’ll be dealing with something darker than the usual post-party comedown. Not that they let this stand in their way. For this is their year to revel in all that the playground of London has to offer: sneaking into places they shouldn’t, breaking every rule, falling in love with the wrong people. All the while avoiding one undeniable truth: it’s not if the party ends, it’s how.

The story is seen the narrative of Joni, who’s parents were not fans of Joni Mitchell. She loves her job as a nanny but finds herself a crossroad when it suddenly comes to an end she’s living in a cottage with her new love Henry and she’s wondering what to do with her life next.

This story is an interesting one and delves into relationships and personalities of twenty somethings living in London enjoying the party scene but also dealing with grief, new love and trying to find your place in the world. I liked Joni, she’s fun and falls in love quickly and is easily swept away, it’s interesting to follow her as she figures out what’s next in life and try to get head around her complicated relationship with her childhood friend, Dylan.

‘Just For Today’ is an engrossing coming of age story packed with wit, drama, and relatable characters and what happens when the party ends and the lights come up.

You can buy ‘Just For Today’ 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.

Hermit By S.R White

Hermit‘Hermit’ is the latest book by S.R White.

After a puzzling death in the wild bushlands of Australia, detective Dana Russo has just hours to interrogate the prime suspect – a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who disappeared without trace 15 years earlier. But where has he been? Why won’t he talk? And exactly how dangerous is he? Without conclusive evidence to prove his guilt, Dana faces a desperate race against time to persuade him to speak. But as each interview spirals with fevered intensity, Dana must reckon with her own traumatic past to reveal the shocking truth.

‘Hermit’ is a quite a somber and perculiar story that was initially a slow burner but once it got flowing, l quickly found myself absorbed in the story.

The story is about police detective Dana, who on the day that she is due to be off from work, gets called in for a murder case.

The main suspect is a quiet man called Nathan Whittler who’s found in the store where the owner has been fatally stabbed. Nathan is a reclusive character who hasn’t spoken to anyone in 15 years and has no fixed abode. Dana has been given 12 hours to solve the crime and break down Nathan’s barrier. But the day in which all this happens, is an anniversary that Dana prefers to spend alone.

The premise to this story is an intriguing one with a quiet and reflective detective who’s skill is to read people and get them to open up. Nathan is a complex character, having disappeared 15 years leaving no trace, he’s become detached from human interaction and his vulnerability is exposed when Dana interrogates him. The scenes with Dana and Nathan make for interesting reading, as much as Dana wants Nathan to tell the truth, she’s also protective of her vulnerability and sees some similarities in Nathan, as they both harbour pasts and secrets.

The story is set in the Australian outback and this makes for the perfect setting for the intense and claustrophobic story.

The book is a suspenseful story that really pulled me in, the story is cleverly crafted with flawed and sympathetic characters that the reader feels a connection with. I found Dana quite fascinating with her troubled past and her interactions with the colleagues who add an element of humour to the otherwise dark story.

One thing that troubled me about the story was that there wasn’t a proper reveal to the significant day that changed Dana’s life. Throughout the story, there were many references to the Day and made it to be quite a big part to the story and for not to properly reveal it. I found it to be quite disappointing. My only thoughts for this, was maybe the author was leaving it open for another book and if that’s the case, I’d readily read the book

A mysterious and thrilling story with an exciting plot line, ‘Hermit’ is a gripping tale that was impossible to put down.

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

The Women Who Ran Away By Sheila O’Flanagan

The Women Who Ran Away ‘The Women Who Ran Away’ is the latest book by Sheila O’Flanagan and is currently number one in the book charts in Ireland.

Deira isn’t the kind of woman to steal a car. Or drive to France alone with no plan. But then, Deira didn’t expect to be single. Or to suddenly realise that the only way she can get the one thing she wants most is to start breaking every rule she lives by. Grace has been sent on a journey by her late husband, Ken. She doesn’t really want to be on it but she’s following his instructions, as always. She can only hope that the trip will help her to forgive him. And then – finally – she’ll be able to let him go. Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Grace and Deira find that it’s easier to share secrets with a stranger, especially in the shimmering sunny countryside of Spain and France. But they soon find that there’s no escaping the truth, whether you’re running away from it or racing towards it.

This book is currently number one in Ireland and having spent my Saturday reading it, I can understand why.

The story is seen through the perspective of 2 Irish women called Grace and Diera who are travelling around France and Spain on 2 separate adventures. But a chance encounter brings them together and they end up on an adventure.

After her husband died Ken died, he tasked Grace with a treasure hunt. Leaving her children behind, she packs up the car and is determined to solve all the clues. Diera has stolen her partner’s Audi and taken the holiday that was intended for them. After staying in the same hotel, the 2 women become firm friends and Diera ends helping Grace with the hunt.

I really enjoyed this story, the 2 women are really interesting and found their new friendship lovely to read. As they both accompanied each other on this momentous time in each other’s lives and were there to support each other.

The women are interesting characters both with complex situations. Grace is an interesting woman, having been married for 40 years and living in her husband’s shadow. Ken was a traditional man who preferred Grace to be at home and not working. I didn’t particularly like Ken, he used his intelligence to undermine Grace and was quite sexist in his viewpoint. Whilst Deira, is trying to deal with a breakup and has gone on the holiday to clear her head. For me, I felt such a sympathy for her, having invested so many years of her life only for it to thrown back in her face. I didn’t like how people treated her, particularly her older sister, who constantly frowned at Deira with her decisions and life.

Like Sheila’s previous books, this focuses on relationships, not only romantic but also friendships. It was lovely to join the women on the adventure as they get to know each and confide in each other. They helped build each other’s confidence and find strength the hard times. The story is thoroughly researched and especially during these times of a pandemic, the vivid descriptions of the scenery, the locations and the food was a welcome distraction.

Beautifully written, injected with warmth, Irish charm and humour, ‘The Women Who Ran Away’ is a smart and life affirming story about new friendships, adventures and there’s no age limit to starting over.

You can buy ‘The Women Who Ran Away’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

All My Lies Are True By Dorothy Koomson

All My Lies Are TrueI’m so delighted to see that Dorothy Koomson has revealed her new book for 2020 called ‘All My Lies’ Are True’

What the back cover says –

Verity is telling lies…
And that’s why she’s about to be arrested for attempted murder.

Serena has been lying for years. . .
And that may have driven her daughter, Verity, to do something unthinkable…

Poppy’s lies have come back to haunt her . . .
So will her quest for the truth hurt everyone she loves?

Everyone lies.
But whose lies are going to end in tragedy?

Sounds like another absolute cracker of a story to look forward to!

You can pre-order ‘All My Lies Are True’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th July 2020.