Skip to content

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.

Win A Copy Of This is How We Are Human By Louise Beech

This Is How We Are HumanOn the book tour for Louise Beech’s new book called ‘This Is How We Are Human’, I’ve a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky person.

What the back cover says

Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian is autistic. And lonely.

Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy … she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he desperately wants.

Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.

When these three lives collide – intertwine in unexpected ways – everything changes. For everyone.

To be in with a chance of winning the book, simply answer the following the question by leaving your answer in the comment box below.

What is the name of Sebastian’s mother?

Competition closes 21st June 2021 and is open to United Kingdom entries only.

Good luck!

Emmet And Me By Sara Gethin

Emmet And Me‘Emmet And Me’ is the latest book by Sara Gethin.

Summer 1966. Claire and her brothers are packed off to Granny Connemara when their mother runs away. Granny’s rural Irish cottage is very different to their Cardiff city home, the peaty air thick with unspoken secrets. With no sign of Uncle Jack picking them up at the end of the holidays, there is school to be survived. Granny is formidable and the children unsettled by the conversations they’re excluded from. Will Mother ever return? Will they ever get home? Why does their father hate everything to do with Ireland? The only light on Claire’s horizon is an out-of-bounds friendship… and it will
change her life forever.

This book is a hard hitting story, telling the truth about the historical abuse that occurred in orphanages in Ireland that were ran by the Catholic Church.

The story is seen through the innocent eyes of ten year old Claire O’Connell who’s been sent to rural Ireland with her two brothers to live with her grandmother during the 1960’s. She’s left the comforts of Wales for the bogs and peats of Connemara and a gruff grandmother.

Claire is sent to a strict Catholic school and her only friend is Emmett from the neighbouring boys school, they share food and stories and it makes for tender and poignant reading.

Claire is a sweet little girl, she’s had to grow up a lot since moving to Ireland and adapt to more responsibility and way of life. Her grandmother is a tough character, but underneath she has a heart of gold and a character that I warmed to greatly. There are so many great characters, I loved Emmett, with his kind and soft ways and his eagerness to be Claire’s friend.

This book is a tough read, it’s highlights the abuse by the Catholic Church that young children were exposed to. Young girls were mistreated by the nuns and boys were abused by the priests. Many decades later, people are still dealing with the aftermath of this and seeking justice for the physical, sexual and psychological abuse that was exposed to them.

This book is based on a true story and it really struck a chord with me and so many emotions ran through me. From the tender interactions between Claire and Emmet to the gory incident when Emmet got stuck in barbed wire. Sara writes vividly and creates emotions in her storytelling from the wilds of Ireland’s landscapes to the innocence of children’s minds.

A story that will evoke so many emotions from start to finish, ‘Emmet And Me’ is a heartbreaking story of friendship and hope that sadly made for sad reading.

You can buy ‘Emmet And Me’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.