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Love Life By Nancy Peach

Love Life‘Love Life’ is the latest book by Nancy Peach.

Palliative care doctor, Tess Carter, is no starry-eyed heroine. After all, if your dad left without a backward glance and you found your last boyfriend in bed with another guy, you wouldn’t believe in romance either. And the voices in Tess’s head – you know, the ones that tell you you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough – well, these voices are very loud. Very loud indeed. Especially when the disagreeable son of one of her patients starts challenging her every decision. Edward Russell might have a big job and a posh voice, but Tess is determined not to let him get to her, especially if she can get her inner monologue to stop with the endless self-sabotage. And Edward, it turns out, may be less of a prat than he first appears…

If you’re looking for a story that will tug at your heartstrings but will have you smiling then ‘Love Life’ is just the book for you.

The story is mostly seen through the narrative of hospice doctor Tess, who’s getting over a messy break up. When a new patient comes into the hospice called Mary, her son is a fond memory from Tess’s past. Unfortunately Edward does not remember Tess and is more concerned about his mother’s health than Tess. As Edward comes to terms with his mother’s health, they form an unlikely bond together.

There is also an inner dialogue that Tess has with Jane Austen as well as television who narrates the downfalls in Tess’s life. Tess’s life is complicated as she deals with self worth, heartbreak and an ongoing eating disorder battle.

The story is set in a hospice and this makes for bittersweet and warm reading as people come to terms with their mortality with humour whilst their relatives struggle with it.

This story is a heartfelt one that made for tender and fun reading that really struck a chord from the first page to the last. Filled with vibrant characters, all dealing with their internal struggles, ‘Love Life’ is a beautiful tearjerker about life, love and new beginnings.

You can buy ‘Love Life’ from Amazon.

Make Yourself At Home By Ciara Geraghty

Make Yourself At Home‘Make Yourself At Home’ is the latest book by Ciara Geraghty.

Marianne left home when she was fifteen following a family tragedy, one that changed all their lives. She never planned to return. But when her carefully controlled life falls apart, she has no choice but to return to Ancaire, the ramshackle house overlooking the Irish Sea, where her mother, Rita, a flamboyant artist and recovering alcoholic still lives. As her mother invites her to pull up a chair and make herself at home, alongside the friends, family and neighbours who wander its rooms. Marianne discovers that sometimes home isn’t a house, it’s a place in your heart.

Ciara Geraghty is back with another Irish turbulent rollercoaster of a story about addiction, dysfunctional families and new beginnings.

The story is seen through the narrative of Marianne, a professional accountant who’s marriage has broken down and her addiction to shoplifting has been exposed. She’s now back living with her mother Rita, her grumpy Aunt Pearl and her foster brother Patrick, a brooding character, who’s quietness annoys Marianne.

Rita is a recovering alcoholic and is using her own battle to help others with her ‘Get Well Soon’ which others face their own addiction. The group is mish mash of colourful characters all complex and troubled in their own way and fighting their demons. Shirley is fiercely outspoken and protective of her 2 boys, Ethel an elderly woman lives with the guilt of alcoholism, whilst Bartholomew and Freddy are eternally sniping and flirting with each other.

The story flows at an interesting pace as Marianne adjusts to being back home and revisiting old memories and less happier times. Her relationship with Rita is turbulent as she remembers her mother as a drunk and not the kind soul who is now always trying to help others. As the story progresses, we see the relationship strengthen as both women become support for each other and Marianne forms an unlikely friendship with the ‘Get Well Soon’ group. We also see Marianne deal with the unexpected as she had spent most of her life in control and this makes for interesting reading as she has to step out of her comfort zone.

Filled with Irish wit and charm and plethora of personalities that made for laugh out loud and emotional reading, the latest book by Ciara is a real page turner and heartwarming story.

Beautifully written, ‘Make Yourself At Home’ is a sentimental and tender story filled with relatable characters, about family upheaval, heartbreak and the fear of letting go.

You can buy ‘Make Yourself At Home’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Wedding Party By Tammy Cohen

The Wedding Party By Tammy Cohen‘The Wedding Party’ is the latest book by Tammy Cohen.

Lucy has dreamt of her wedding day for as long as she can remember. And now the day is almost here. Her nearest and dearest are gathered on an idyllic Greek island and she just knows it’s going to be perfect. It has to be. But even the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong. Why are her parents behaving so strangely? Why won’t the rather odd lady from the airport stop hanging around? Who is the silent stranger her sister brought as a plus-1? And then they find the body.

t’s been a while since I’ve read a Tammy Cohen book and set against the Greek skyline, this thriller made for addictive reading.

Lucy has been planning her wedding since she was a child and now the big day has come and she wants it to be perfect. But with drama, arguments, money problems plus a murder, it’s turned into the wedding from hell!

The story is seen through multiple narratives, primarily females in the story Lucy, her sister Jess and mother Hazel as well as Lucy’s bridesmaid Shelley. Lucy is a stereotypical bride, stressed, overspent and easily riled especially when it comes to her younger sister Jess and longing to finally be accepted by her new mother in law. Jess is a free spirit who doesn’t conform to society, bringing a virtual stranger to her sister’s wedding as her plus one and befriending Vivian, a nosey elderly woman who is also staying at the same hotel and has a strange interest in the comings and goings of the wedding party. Hazel, the bride’ mother is dealing with her unhappy marriage whilst Shelley who is Lucy’s best friend is desperate to keep Lucy happy and the wedding ticking over. Whilst Nina, the wedding planner is desperately trying to get money together to paid of the man she borrowed from.

If you enjoy a good domestic noir, then look no further. Tammy has all the boxes ticked with this story, fast paced, flawed and unreliable characters and suspense that builds more with each page.

I loved the multiple narratives in the story, all giving an insight into the people. There was also the inclusion of police statements filtered through the story and this helped build up to the moment that the incident happened and also helped piece together crucial information.

Terrifically written and riddled with claustrophobia and tension from the start, ‘The Wedding Party’ is a gripping thriller set in a picturesque setting with a fascinating line up where everyone is a suspect.

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

The Hen Party By Maria Frankland

The Hen Party‘The Hen Party’ is the latest book by Maria Frankland.

Caitlyn and her nine hens arrive in Dublin for a never-to-be-forgotten weekend. As the drink flows and the laughter echoes, her attendees put aside their buried resentments and secret dark agendas. But one of these disturbing agendas will be executed – no matter what.Ten is about to become nine. Who will be the one?

This is the third book that I’ve read by Maria and she really knows how to write a good engaging thriller.

The story is primarily seen the narrative of Jen who’s maid of honour for her best friend Caitlyn. She’s organised a hen party in Dublin with plenty of activities to keep everyone happy. But there’s trouble and resentment brewing in the group of 10 women. When one of the women is found dead, all the women are suspects. As each woman is interviewed they all have hidden secrets and have all possible motives for killing their friend.

I consumed this book in one sitting on Sunday morning and couldn’t move until I reached the final gripping page.

Cleverly weaved with drama and deceit, Maria has crafted an observational story about female dynamics between family and friends. The hidden jealousy and resentment bubbles between the group as old feelings ignite and friendships move further apart.

The insight from Jen was an interesting addition to the story as she’s the closet to the victim and is a bit of a buffer between all the drama.

A fast paced psychological thriller set in the heart of Dublin, ‘The Hen Party’ is a suspenseful whodunnit with plenty of suspects, one unfortunate victim and one hell of a twist!

You can buy ‘The Hen Party’ from Amazon.

The Handover By David M Barnett

The Handover‘The Handover’ is the latest book by David M. Barnett.

Daisy is the night security guard at the Manchester Museum of Social History. She takes her job very seriously, protecting the museum from teenage troublemakers. Nate works the day shift, though he’d be more suited as a museum guide the way he chats with the visitors. Daisy doesn’t approve: how does he find it so easy to talk to strangers? For five minutes each day their shifts overlap at handover. He passes the torch over to Daisy – always with a smile on his face, and she asks him for a full report of the day, which he gives reluctantly. It’s the only interaction they have… until mysterious things begin to happen at the museum. They soon discover they have a lot more in common than they realised… and their investigations uncover more than just the truth. Could they have feelings for one another?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Written through a dual narrative, the story reflects on how as little as 5 minutes can make a difference to a person’s life.

Daisy is an interesting character, she regards herself as complicated from a childhood trauma and feels that she is not deserved of true happiness and that her mother’s terminal cancer is punishment for her behaviour. Labelled Crazy Daisy Dukes, she’s at her happiest patrolling the museum and putting together her daily report, even though it is never read. She’s quite awkward and stand offish with people which makes her appear cold but she has a huge heart and she lives in fear of hurting people.

Nate is a happy go lucky fellow, who’s trying to provide a good life for his young son. He’s trying to move on with his life since his divorce and is trying to get himself out there, but he’s drawn to Daisy and sees something in her that no one else sees including Daisy.

This story is quite the tearjerker battling issues as alcoholism, terminal illness as well as abuse, so it is quite hard hitting in parts. But for all the tender and emotional moments, David has included some humour to help the reader recover from the twists and reveals. I particularly Derek, the owner of the local takeaway who constantly on the edge of infringement with his Derek Domino’s business selling Big Macs.

A tender story about love, new beginnings and unexpected love, ‘The Handover’ is a sweetly written story that really captured my heart.

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