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Should I Tell You? By Jill Mansell

Should I Tell You‘Should I Tell You?’ is the latest book by Jill Mansell.

Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele met as teenagers in the Cornish seaside home of kind-hearted foster parents. Years on, the bond between them is unbreakable. But Amber has a secret. She’s in love with Lachlan. She can’t tell him, because that would never work – he’s definitely not the settling-down type. Surely it’s better to keep him as a friend than to risk losing him for good?. Raffaele has his own dilemma. He had the dream girlfriend in Vee, until it all went horribly wrong . . . and he still can’t understand why. Is Vee hiding something from him? Now their widowed foster dad Teddy has found new love. Younger, charming and beautiful, Olga seems perfect. But is she? Or will she break Teddy’s fragile heart?

Sit back and relax in the latest offering by Jill Mansell, another charming story of friendship, new beginnings and love.

The story is primarily seen through the perspective of fostered siblings Lachlan, Amber, Raffelle who were all fostered by Teddy and May. Their foster parents helped structure them into the people they have become, May nurtured Lachlan’s love of cooking which led him to become a successful chef, Amber creates beautiful art from glass and Raffelle has become a successful celebrity hairdresser who uses his cutting skills to help those less well off which makes for touching scenes in the story. All three characters have interesting parts in the story, Lachlan is the local lothario, Amber is attracted to Lachlan and Raffelle is dealing with the breakdown of his relationship with Vee, who’s dealing with a breakdown of her own.

Since May passed away, Teddy takes himself away on a cruise and he meets Olga an outspoken Russian woman who likes expensive things. I found myself torn in my opinion of Olga, one minute you think she’s a gold digger and the next minute, you’re touched by her kindness and warmth, so she was definitely one of my favourite characters in the story. Another lovely character in the story is Benji, only son of the outspoken and confident Peggy, he struggles to interact with people due to his stutter but then he becomes friends with Jo and she helps him blossom.

Once again, Jill has delivered another joyful story that is packed with heart, warmth and laughter. The variety of characters all dealing with their own problems, all flow at a lovely pace and their interactions make for heartfelt reading. The story has multiple stories weaved throughout about love, heartbreak, family and catfishing which all come together seamlessly in the end.

A story proving that you don’t be blood related to be family,’Should I tell you?’ Is another beautifully written and fantastic story from Jill made that for poignant and enjoyable reading.

You can buy ‘Should I Tell You?’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Anything Could Happen By Lucy Diamond

Anything Could Happen‘Anything Could Happen’ is the latest book by Lucy Diamond.

For Lara and her daughter Eliza, it has always been just the two of them. But when Eliza turns eighteen and wants to connect with her father, Lara is forced to admit a secret that she has been keeping from her daughter her whole life.

Eliza needs answers – and so does Lara. Their journey to the truth will take them on a road trip across England and eventually to New York, where it all began. Dreams might have been broken and opportunities missed, but there are still surprises in store…

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Lucy, so it was lovely to kick off my first review of 2022 of new book.

The story is written through the perspectives of mother and daughter, Lara and Eliza and unknown father Ben and his equally surprised wife, Kirsten. Eliza has always wondered about her father and why he wasn’t part of her life and her journey leads her to Ben, who had a one night stand with Lara but if fate had not intervened, the three might have been a family unit instead of strangers. As the trio try to deal with this discovery, Kirsten who has always wanted children has to deal with becoming an outsider and puts her own needs first for a change.

I loved this story, its warm, lively with interesting and relatable characters that I was immediately able to sink into and enjoy.

The story is primarily written in the present moment, but there are scenes of Ben and Lara’s first meeting against the bright lights and vibrancy of New York. It’s evident that there is an attraction to each other with plans to meet up again only for it never to happen. As the story progresses, neither of their lives have turned out how they expected. Instead of being a fashion writer, Lara is a driving instructor and Ben is looking at maps of the world instead of travelling it. Their daughter Eliza is a brilliant character, full of spirit with a quick tongue and longs to have her parents together.

The story is one of adjustment and finding your path in life, whether it’s becoming a parent to a 19 year old, changing careers or simply putting your needs before others and I loved this about the book.

A stunning story filled with hope, new family and new beginnings, ‘Anything Could Happen’ is a beautifully written story that flowed at a lovely pace that was a joy to read.

You can buy ‘Anything Could Happen’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Someone I Used To Know By Paige Toon

Someone I Used To Know‘Someone I Used To Know’ is the latest book by Paige Toon.

At fifteen, George is the foster brother Leah never asked for. As the angry, troubled boy struggles to come to terms with his circumstances, Leah finds herself getting drawn closer to him. Theo’s wealthy family have mysteriously pulled him out of boarding school and he’s now enrolled at the local state school with Leah and George. When their worlds collide that summer, the three teenagers form a bond they believe will be unbreakable. But life doesn’t always go to plan. Shocking news brings Leah back to Yorkshire, baby daughter in tow. But Emilie’s father Theo isn’t with them, and George has unexpectedly returned. After half a lifetime, have they healed the scars of their pasts? Will coming back home set their hearts in a different direction?

I spent one Saturday tucked up with the latest book by Paige and it was the perfect way to spend a few hours.

The story is seen through the narrative of Leah and is written in the past and present tense. The past is when she is 15 and 2 new boys are introduced into her life. Her parents are foster parents and bring George into their home and Leah and George becomes unlikely friends and she offers a bit of stability and comfort to his life. Theo, the posh rich kid joins their school and the duo become a trio and Leah becomes conflicted as to who owns her heart. Now many years later George is back in their lives after disappearing and Leah has a little girl with Theo and is trying to deal with a new life but the same emotions.

You know when you sit down with a Paige Toon book, there are always three essentials to get you through it. Tea, chocolate and tissues because always at some point there will be some reveal that will break your heart and only these three essentials will help and ‘Someone I Used To Know’ is no different.

I loved Leah, her easy adaptation to new children coming into their lives as well as being an older sibling. She’s’ a strong woman who’s been through a lot and I really enjoyed reading her journey. Her own struggle with grief but also having two best friends that were going through stuff and she was there for both of them. I must admit I really did like George, with his kind soul and spirit. Paige has a wonderful knack of writing the ideal man in her books, deliciously handsome, charismatic and 9 times out of 10, I also fall for them!

I also admired her parents for their kindness for giving so many children a better start in life, offering them security in their unstable world.

This book is a life affirming and uplifting story that really made for tender and poignant reading and I genuinely never wanted it to end. Oozing with heart, charm and nostalgia, ‘Someone I Used To Know’ is a beautifully written and heartbreaking story about love, loss and family and is a must for read for all Paige Toon fans.

You can buy ‘Someone I Used To Know’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Ghosts By Dolly Alderton

Ghosts‘Ghosts’ is the debut novel by Dolly Alderton.

Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with loving friends and family, plus a new home and neighbourhood. When she meets Max, a beguiling romantic hero who tells her on date one that he’s going to marry her, it feels like all is going to plan. A new relationship couldn’t have come at a better time – her thirties have not been the liberating, uncomplicated experience she was sold. Everywhere she turns, she is reminded of time passing and opportunities dwindling. Friendships are fading, ex-boyfriends are moving on and, worse, everyone’s moving to the suburbs. There’s no solace to be found in her family, with a mum who’s caught in a baffling mid-life makeover and a beloved dad who is vanishing in slow-motion into dementia.

‘Ghosts’ is Dolly’s debut novel even though she’s already published a book called ‘Everything I Know About Love’ and has a regular newspaper column.

‘Ghosts’ is seen through the narrative of Nina, who like many other females in the world is adapting to life as a singleton as everyone is pairing up around her. Her career as a food writer is going from strength from strength and just as her relationship with Max starts to develop, he disappears, ghosting her. Her father is battling dementia and disappears into his own world but already remembers Nina as his ‘Bean’.

This book is a powerful story and one that many will wholeheartedly relate to. The surprise and disappointment of online dating, finding the one only for them to let you know and to be judged on your status in life, married, children and if not, why not?

I loved Nina, I loved her independence and passion and how she was always there for others, no matter how they treated or disregarded her. I adored her best friend Lola, who was looking for happy ever after and was determined to find it, no matter how long she stayed on WhatsApp.

I loved the dynamics of the female relationships, how women behaved differently towards single women as if they were preying on their husbands and genuinely found this to be true of real life. I found the scene with Nina’s parents to be hard hitting as her mother dealt with her husband’s dementia by engaging now with friends to escape the pain, whilst Nina struggled with seeing her father become a different person. These scenes are hard hitting and emotional in parts and did make for quite tender reading.

Beautifully written and sadly relatable, ‘Ghosts’ is a poignant and bittersweet story about getting old, looking for love and finding your place in life. Filled with humour, cynicism and nostalgia for what has been, this book brought back all kinds of feelings and was truly a masterpiece of a read.

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

The Idea Of You By Robinne Lee

The Idea Of You‘The Idea Of You’ is the latest book by Robinne Lee.

To the media, Hayes Campbell is the enigmatic front-man of a record-breaking boyband. To his fans, he’s the man of their dreams. To Solène Marchand, he’s just the pretty face that’s plastered over her teenage daughter’s bedroom wall. Until a chance meeting throws them together. The attraction is instant. The chemistry is electric. The affair is Solène’s secret. But how long can it stay that way?

If you like your books saucy, honest and fun then ‘The Idea Of You’ is your next summer read.

I loved this book and immediately sank into it. I received a proof of the book and the cover is a bright yellow with a warning on the front cover saying ‘This Will Keep You Up All Night’ and never was a truer word written down.

The story is seen through the narrative of Solene who falls for Hayes Campbell, star of boyband August Moon and almost half her age. The pair have a passionate and turbulent relationship much to Hayes fans disgust including Selene’s daughter, Isabelle and focuses on the struggle of a high profile relationship and the age difference. I really enjoyed Selene, she’s vibrant and outspoken character, who unfortunately has to make some harsh decisions in her life due to her love interest.

This is Robinne’s debut novel and to be honest, it’s great. Right from the first page, we are treated to a story that is vividly written with witty and engaging dialogue and a love story that’s far from perfect.

A page turner from the first page, this book encapsulates the ultimate fantasy of falling for a rock star and is delivered with humour and warmth. ‘The Idea Of You’ takes you on an emotional journey and tears you apart at the final page.

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