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My Perfect Friend By Sarah Clarke

My Perfect Friend‘My Perfect Friend’ is the latest book by Sarah Clarke.

Beth has the perfect life. She has constructed it carefully over the last eighteen years. But one night she makes a choice that risks everything. When Kat sees an article about that night online, buried memories begin to surface. She and Beth were friends once. Things ended badly then, but now she has a chance to make things right. Kat introduces herself to Beth. Not as her old friend, but as a stranger. Beth has no idea Kat isn’t who she says she is. But then neither is Beth.

If you like twisty thrillers, then ‘My Perfect Friend’ is a must read. It’s packed with suspense, intrigue and dislikable characters.

After trying to save a man from death, Beth becomes a neighbourhood hero and finds herself in the spotlight and the subject of a disgruntled homeless man who’s convinced that he killed her friend. Beth’s life is in turmoil until a dog Walker called Kat comes into her life and helps her with the chaos, but unknown to her, Kat is from her past and knows all about Beth before she became the perfect mother and figure.

This story is one of best thrillers I’ve read in a while. With a combination of flawed characters and a twisty plot that made for compulsive reading. The various narratives from Beth, Kat and Mark, the homeless man who hates Beth all pull the reader in with their different narratives and perspectives so the reader is unsure of who to believe. There is also the inclusion of past moments which really help set the scene of the story and really the story and characters a lot more depth. Beth is a complex character that I initially felt sympathetic towards but as the story progressed, we see a side to her that is cold and calculated as she does all she can to maintain her perfect life facade.

Gripping from the first page, ‘The Perfect Friend’ is a cleverly weaved story, filled with engaging and tense moments that made the book impossible to put down.

You can buy ‘My Perfect Friend’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Picture Perfect By Jeevani Charika

Picture Perfect‘Picture Perfect’ is the latest book by Jeevani Charika.

Niro is a photographer who’s lost the joy of taking photos. Burned by a bad break-up, she’s in desperate need of inspiration. Vimal is determined to win back his ex-girlfriend. When he hears she’s bringing her new boyfriend on a group holiday, he impulsively declares that he’s bringing a plus one too. Their mutual friends have the perfect solution: Niro can pretend to be Vimal’s new girlfriend and join the holiday. Imagine the incredible photographs she could take in the Swiss alps. She’s not thinking about love. He’s thinking about someone else. Can they fake a picture-perfect relationship – or will real feelings get in the way?

Curl up with ‘Picture perfect’ a romantic comedy about fake love and relationships that slowly burns into a real connection.

The story is seen through the narrative of Niro and Vimal who have both had their hearts broken. Niro is unable to get over Mick, who broke her heart and ruined her confidence, her family is wanting her to find someone to love and when Vimal is introduced through an arrangement, they pretend to be a couple so that Vimal can win Kerry, his ex-girlfriend back.

The premise is that the pair of them will go on a work holiday to the Swiss Alps with Vimal’s work colleagues and hopefully make Kerry jealous and realise what she’s missing.

This story is a lovely one. Both characters are nursing broken hearts and are struggling to move on, but their shared hurt is helping them grow in confidence, make them happier and in Niro’s case, Vimal is helping her reignite her passion for photography.

The setting is beautiful and really puts the reader into the festive mood and the array of characters make for interesting dynamics, Lucian is a snob who belittles people whilst his younger girlfriend Felicity, is charming and playful adding an element of fun to the story. Vimal is kind natured and quiet whilst Niro brings out the fun side in him.

The story also focuses on the pressure of society, having to look and behave a certain way and it’s really relatable in how easily a person is judged by their appearances alone.

A warm hearted story about broken hearts and new friendships, ‘Picture Perfect’ is a delicious romantic comedy that ticks all the boxes for a lovely festive read.

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

The Christmas Cupid By Jennifer Joyce

The Christmas Cupid‘The Christmas Cupid’ is the latest book by Jennifer Joyce.

Zoey Beake is having a bad December. She might be an elf in the local toy shop’s Christmas department, but it’s hard to stay festive when you’ve just been dumped, you’ve had an extremely unfortunate haircut, and your boss volunteers you to walk on stilts in the toy shop’s Christmas parade. But then something incredible happens. Zoey is sent back to the start of December, with the chance to live the whole month again. The catch? She has to match six true-love couples by Christmas Eve. Now it’s not just her own love life she needs to fix… Grab the mistletoe, the Christmas Cupid is ready to matchmake!

It might not even be Halloween yet but get yourself into the Christmas spirit with this charming and witty festive tale.

The story is seen from Christmas elf Zoey whose world has just broken apart after her boyfriend Scott breaks up with her. But tragically, when working in the Christmas parade, she’s killed but in a mad turn of events, Zoey is given a second shot of life but all she has to do is, find 6 couples to fall in love by the ill-fated day of her supposed death.

So Zoey is tasked with finding love for other people but also trying to save her own relationship. But as the story progresses, we see her opinions and feelings change towards Scott. Her second shot at life makes her take her rose-tainted glasses off and see the person that Scott really is. I despised Scott, he’s selfish, lazy, arrogant and totally took advantage of Zoey’s kind and sweet nature.

This story is the perfect tale to curl up with, the storyline flows at a lovely pace and the characters were all a breath of fresh air, particularly Milo, the handsome and sweet photographer who falls under Zoey’s radar. I loved the gradual progression of the story and how Zoey grew in confidence and finally realised her true worth and realised how Scott was not worthy of her love.

One thing that truly made for fun reading in the story was the amount of food that featured in it, whether it was the sweet treats from the bakery or the delicious German food that Zoey’s neighbour made. Throughout this story, I constantly found myself snacking and feeling peckish whilst reading the book!

Fun, warmhearted and packed with heart and hope, ‘The Christmas Cupid’ is a story about second chances and new beginnings.

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

Safe With Me By R.M Ward

Safe With You‘Safe With You’ is the latest book by R.M Ward.

Kath has lived on the same London estate for decades. Lately she’s become friendly with the little girl next door, who is often left alone for hours at a time while her mum is at work. They have a system. When Mina gets home from school to the empty flat, she knocks on the wall three times. Knock, knock, knock. I’m home safe and sound. But one day Mina’s knock doesn’t come. Kath raises the alarm and the police begin the search. Kath was the only person looking out for Mina – now she might be the only one who can bring her home.

Set in a block of flats on a rough estate and seen from the narrative of quiet Den, elderly Kath who misses nothing and young mother Sandy who’s daughter has gone missing.

As the days pass by and the fingers of blame are pointed, the three people all have their own part in Mina’s disappearance. Sandy is having to deal with the guilt of leaving her daughter alone over night, whilst Den was the last person that saw her and Kathy wishes her had done more for the little girl.

The different narratives add an interesting slant to the story. Sandy is seen as a cold character, who shares little remorse for her daughter but she’s really riddled with guilt and wishes her could provide a better life for her. Kath has lived in the estate for many years and notices everything, she’s jokily referred to as the Miss Marple of the story. But even though she’s elderly and not as spritely as she used to be, she has a keen eye and is the backbone of the small estate, wanting the people to come together at this dark time. Whilst Den is at the centre of it all, he’s a quiet man, who’s bullied because of his meekness and this makes him a prime target as Mina was last seen in his dad’s cafe.

I really enjoyed this story, the different narratives made for gripping reading and really helped the pace of the story. I found myself torn with Kath, sometimes I found her extremely nosy and other times, I pitied her lonely life. Den is also another sympathetic character who was only looking for Mina and gave her the odd free treat and this made him a suspect.

The story is bleak and packed with despair with a little girl at the centre of it all, ‘Safe With Me’ is a dark and gritty story that made for gripping reading.

You can pre-order ‘Safe With You’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th September 2022.

The Love Arrangement by Ruby Basu

The Love Arrangementr‘The Love Arrangement’ is the latest book by Ruby Basu.

Independent and free-spirted Annika has no plans to settle down anytime soon… if only her parents felt the same way. But when her father unexpectedly falls ill, she’ll do anything to make things better. Even if it means suddenly blurting out she has a boyfriend. The only issue is, he doesn’t exist. Then, by chance, she bumps into handsome entrepreneur Rav, and she can’t believe her luck. He’s single, sworn off relationships and looking for a date to attend work events with. He’s the perfect solution to her troubles. Or is he? Because there’s just one slight catch – he also happens to be her childhood nemesis. It was only ever supposed to be a simple, temporary arrangement. Nothing more. Certainly love was never part of the terms and conditions. But Annika’s about to discover that some deals are made to be broken…

Annika aka Nikki teams up with her childhood nemesis Rav to pretend to be a couple to to get her traditional Indian parents of her back and to help Rav with a work pitch. This arrangement works perfectly for both of them but the last thing that Nikki ever expected was to fall to in love with Rav and for the arrangement become real.

I loved Nikki, she’s fun, brave and works hard in her environmental job that takes her away for periods of time. Her brother and sister are married with children and her parents long for her to settle down so to put their minds at ease, she agrees to be in a pretend relationship with childhood friend Rav, a successful man that many women lust after and when Nikki announces their relationship, she is the talk of the neighbourhood.

Nikki is fiercely independent and when she pairs up with Rav, she has to adapt her way of life but this really makes for lovely reading. Rav is an intense man driven by success and Nikki’s warmhearted and bubbly spirit helps him relax and as the pair pretend to be partners at significant moments in each other’s lives, such as family weddings, work events, Nikki begins to see Rav as a genuine boyfriend and how well they work together as a team.

This story is a warm and fun tale, that was great to get lost in. Packed with interesting characters, insights of the bright and vibrant Indian world as well as the hardships of the pressure to settle down, ‘The Love Arrangement’ is a sweetly written story about love and family.

You can pre-order ‘The Love Arrangement’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from 13th October 2022.