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Tell Me Everything By Laura Kay

Tell Me Everything‘Tell Me Everything’ is the second book by Laura Kay.

Natasha has everything under control, at least that’s what her clients think. As a therapist, she has all the answers but when it comes to her personal life, she seriously needs to start taking her own advice. Still living with her ex-girlfriend, Natasha’s messy love life is made up of dates and one-night stands. After all, why would you commit to one person, when there is an endless stream of people waiting for you to swipe right? Besides, people always leave. But when Margot arrives on the scene, everything changes. Flailing between mending long broken relationships and starting new ones, Natasha’s walking the line between self-actualisation and self-destruction… With denial no longer an option, it is time for Natasha to take control of her own happiness.

Laura Kay is back with another charming and witty exploration into female and family relationships in her second novel.

Natty is a therapist living with her ex girlfriend but when Georgia finds a new girlfriend and Zara moves in, Natty finds herself in limbo and unsure of life. But then Mara a straight talking and quick witted woman walks into her clinic and Natasha, although she’s not looking for anything long term, finds herself attracted to the stranger.

I loved Laura’s debut novel called ‘The Split’ a honest reflection and observation into gay relationships and the feeling of wanting to belong and her follow up book follows in the same vein.

The characters are a complex and fascinating mix of personalities that make for entertaining reading. Set against the vibrancy of Brighton, this story flows at a lovely pace as Natty deals with new emotions as well as family dramas.

This story is poignant, tender, relatable and witty in parts that made for lovely reading. Natty is a a great protagonist and it was enjoyable reading as we joined her on a journey of self discovery and happiness.

Fun and insightful from the first page, ‘Tell Me Everything’ is a tender and warm story about finding your place in life.

You can buy ‘Tell Me Everything’ 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 with her 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 and was a joy to read.

You can buy ‘Anything Could Happen’ 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.

Shame By Elizabeth Forbes

Shame‘Shame’ is the latest book by Elizabeth Forbes.

George and Martha have things they’d rather keep hidden from each other: private thoughts, desires and secrets which, if discovered, could cause untold shame. But to an outsider they appear to have a happy, contented and conventional family life. At their twins’ Fred and Delilah’s twenty-first birthday party events conspire to uncover disturbing emotional connections, and threaten to reveal a past that has long been concealed.Soon after, a holiday designed to repair the damage exposes further rifts that could spread beyond the family and possibly change their futures forever. As a GP, Martha is used to helping her patients mend physically and mentally, but can she do the same for her husband and children, or will the ensuing damage leave wounds that will never heal?

This is the second book that I’ve read by Elizabeth and just like ‘Nearest Thing To Crazy’, ‘Shame was just as addictive.

The story is seen through the narratives of Martha and George and their children although they appear like a happy family, they’ve all got secrets that could ruin them and as the story unfolds, secrets are revealed and everyone is left wondering if they really knew each other.

The story is a chilling suspense story and really pulls the reader in. With flawed characters, extra marital affairs, lies and family secrets, this has the makings of a great thriller that hooks the readers attention.

Elizabeth is a great writer and her stories are cleverly crafted with raw emotion to keep the reader on their toes. Filled with drama and tension that gradually heightens as the story progresses.

A story about the demise of a marriage and the secrets that go on behind closed doors, ‘Shame’ is a taunt and dramatic book that makes for fascinating reading.

You can buy ‘Shame’ from Amazon.

The Man I Didn’t Marry By Anna Bell

The Man I Didn't Marry‘The Man I Didn’t Marry’ is the latest book by Anna Bell.

Ellie has the perfect life: a happy marriage, a gorgeous daughter and a baby on the way. But when her husband Max develops amnesia, he forgets everything about the last five years. Now the man she said ‘I do’ to has become a stranger, and she has no idea why. Yet Ellie is determined to reconnect and find her Max again – he has to be in there somewhere, right? As they get to know one another afresh, Ellie finds herself seeing Max clearly for the first time. But then she discovers that before his memory loss, Max was keeping a huge secret from her. Will their new beginning prove to be a false start, just as it seemed they might fall in love all over again?

Even though Anna Bell has released nine books, this is the first one that I’ve read by her and it was an uplifting yet poignant story.

The story is seen through the narrative of Ellie, who falls in love and marries her teenage crush Max, who’s the brother of her best friend called Rachel. Pregnant with their second child, they’re looking forward to expanding their family until one day Max just randomly loses his memory and can’t remember the last 5 years. The most significant years of his life, falling in love, getting married and becoming a father. Now, Ellie is left with a man who likes to flirt with strange women in front and she’s terrified that his memory will never recover, so she decides to recreate some of the most important moments in the hope that it will jog his memory.

I loved this story, it’s witty, it’s fun and it’s downright scary how someone’s memory can just disappear. Ellie is a great character, she’s nerdy which she is not apologetic for and is still in awe after marrying her crush but she’s consumed by a fear that she will lose him so she tries to ignite the memories with disastrous dates from drunken beer pong to horrible French restaurants. Her love for Max is evident and it’s hard not to fall for him, as he’s sweet, handsome with his roguish behaviour. It’s sweet and somewhat sad as he veers between the joy of rediscovering his new life and his fear of his memory not returning fully.

The plot line is an interesting one and made this quite the snappy read. Whilst trying to help Max reclaim his memory, Ellie has also joined a maternity group and they are a fun addition to the story, from the snobbish Anneka who’s always got a story to tell to the outspoken and incredibly horny Helen!

Fun from the first page with relatable characters that made for enjoyable reading. This emotional rollercoaster is a romantic comedy at its finest, teamed with witty one liners and the odd tearjerker moment, ‘The Man I Didn’t Marry’ is a captivating comedy about a second chance at love.

You can buy ‘The Man I Didn’t Marry’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.