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The Man Who Didn’t Call By Rosie Walsh

The Man Who Didn't Call‘The Man Who Didn’t Call’ is the first book by Rosie Walsh, who also writes as Lucy Robinson.

Imagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything. So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call. Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they’re wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence. What do you do when you finally discover you’re right? That there is a reason – and that reason is the one thing you didn’t share with each other?

You can buy ‘The Man Who Didn’t Call’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Life We Almost Had By Amelia Henley

The Life We Almost Had‘The Life We Almost Had’ is the latest book by Amelia Henley.

Anna wasn’t looking for love when Adam swept her off her feet but there was no denying their connection, and she believed they would be together forever. Years later, cracks have appeared in their relationship. Anna is questioning whether their love can really be eternal when a cruel twist of fate delivers a crushing blow, and Anna and Adam are completely lost to one another. Now, Anna needs Adam more than ever, but the way back to him has life-changing consequences. Is a second chance at first love really worth the sacrifice? Anna needs to decide and time is running out…

If you like books that tug at your heartstrings with relatable characters and life situations, then ‘The Life We Almost Had’ is just for you.

The story is seen through the narrative of couple Anna and Adam. At 24 years of age, Anna was dumped by her cheating husband to be, with the honeymoon paid for, Anna takes her best friend Nell to the Spanish island of Alircia to heal her wounds. It’s there that she meets Adam and their love for each other begins, as they struggle with long distance relationships when they return home before getting married. Now married, they want to create a baby and struggle to conceive which causes distance and resentment between the pair of them as they both long for the same thing but it seems to be out of their reach. To try to make things better for them, Adam thoughtfully surprises Anna with a return trip to Alircia hoping to reignite their love for each other. But on this trip which should be a joyful occasion tragedy strikes when Adam is injured in the an accident that leaves him in a coma with only 3% survival. As days passes by with Anna alone in a strange country, she’s approached by Oliver, a neurologist who wants to use Adam for his therapy that is able to tune to people’s consciousness although Anna is opposed to the idea she then decides to go along with it, so she once be with Adam in his dreams.

OK, this book is a heartbreaker, is a story of love and loss that makes for tender and frustrated reading, as the couple finally get their happy ever after only for it to pulled away. The main characters are relatable and for this, I was really able to connect with them. Anna has low self esteem after being dumped and Adam quickly becomes besotted with her and really lifts her mood and confidence. They are perfect for each other but you can really feel the dynamics changing between them as the struggle for a baby becomes harder and Anna pulls away from her best friend Nell who unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Anna hates that she feels jealous and resentment to the person that’s been there for you, so she pulls back from the friendship. I really liked Adam, he was always such a giving character and he gave up his dreams to travel the world to be with Anna and I thought that was such considerate thing to do.

The story is written in alternating chapters between Adam and Anna and it’s interesting to read the different insights on the relationship and the struggles between them, as they both deal with the complexities of the relationship. As Anna vows never to give up on the relationship and hope for the Adam to return to her, we see her regain her love for Adam and the commitment for each other. It’s heartbreaking to join Anna as she goes inside Adam’s consciousness, as he’s carrying on with life unaware of what’s going on outside in the real world.

There are plenty of magical moments in the story, from the interactions between Adam and Anna to the 50p coin that they exchange instead of words. The coin dates back to Anna’s grandfather when he first played ‘Love Me Tender’ on the jukebox to get her to dance with him, so the song has sentimental value. Oliver was also an interesting character who threw himself into his work to help distract him from the death of his wife Clem.

‘The Life We Almost Had’ is the first romantic novel from Amelia Henley who’s really psychological thriller author Louise Jensen and this is a stunning debut from the author which is thoroughly researched and gave an fascinating insight into how the brain works.

Tenderly written and injected with love and hope, ‘The Life We Almost Had’ is an emotional rollercoaster of a story that tugs on your heartstrings from the first page.

You can buy ‘The Life We Almost Had’ is available to buy from Amazon

Food For Thought By Sara Madderson

‘Food For Thought’‘Food For Thought’ is the latest book by Sara Madderson.

Evelyn Macleod has spent a decade helping her husband, charismatic TV chef Seb Macleod, to become a household name. Now they’re riding high and enjoying the spoils of their success. When a tabloid forces Seb to come out as gay, Evelyn and her young son flee to a friend’s luxury resort in rural Kent. Sorrel Farm is the perfect place to hide out, decompress from her disciplined London lifestyle, and comfort-eat. The enforced break also throws into question everything that Evelyn has worked so hard for. Should she continue to chase the glittering heights of wealth and power in London? Or should she choose balance—and the chance to find love—in the beautiful English countryside?

If you’re looking for a book that is uplifting and full of spirit, then ‘Food For Thought’ is perfect for you.

Evelyn McLeod has the perfect life married to a handsome and successful chef called Seb, their restaurant empire is going from strength and they have an adorable little boy called Eddie. But things come crashing down around Evelyn when Seb reveals to her that he’s gay and he has to reveal this to the public before some photographs of him in a compromising position are leaked to the press. The couple put on a united front and reveal their story to the threatening tabloid, but whilst Evelyn has maintained her dignity, in reality she’s heartbroken and fearful of her future. So she takes herself off to Kent to visit her best friend Jess and her partner Zoe where they have a quaint resort filled with organic food, a stunning location and a handsome organic farmer to help occupy her mind. It’s during this time, that Evelyn uses this time to reflect on what and where is next in her life journey.

I loved this book, it’s packed with sass and humour and was a really fun story. The story is reminiscent of ‘This Morning’s presenter Philip Scofield’s recent coming out, a popular celebrity with a very public display, as Seb is a bit of a national treasure.

The story travels at a fun pace and with witty dialogue and great characters that make it so easy to absorb yourself into the story. Evelyn was a fantastic protagonist and was an inspiration to read, using Seb’s sexuality declaration to create a new life for herself and sweet little boy Eddie.

An up lifting and fun story about love and life, ‘Food For Thought’ is an entertaining book that made for delicious reading.

You can ‘Food For Thought’ from Amazon.

Jesse’s Girl By Tara September

Jesse's‘Jesse’s Girl’ is the latest book by Tara September and this short book can easily be consumed in one sitting, which I did over the weekend.

Successful Texas lawyer, Reade Walker, curses that damn song every time it plays, all too aware of the irony of its lyrics. After all, he has been secretly and painfully enamored with Jesse’s girl, Gwen, for nearly a decade. It was love at first sight for him, but sadly she’s not his girl. She belongs to the one man who betrayed him and knows Reade’s hidden family secret. Yet Reade can’t seem to love anyone except the one woman he can’t have. Or can he make her mine? When Gwen Clark’s senator husband runs off with his intern and all their money, the ensuing scandal turns her life upside down. Deserted, penniless and desperate to provide for her six-year-old daughter, Gwen has no one to turn to but Reade Walker. The one man her heart desperately wants, but her pride dreads having to ask for help. Despite welcoming them into his home, it seems like Reade can barely stand being in the same room with her anymore, let alone under the same roof—in the same bedroom. But Gwen is determined to get her life back on track. It is past time to rediscover her own dreams…if only she can keep her aching heart from breaking all over again.

The story is seen from the narrative of friends Gwen and Reade who have known each other for years with having one mutual friend in common, Jesse who is Gwen’s estranged political husband. When Jesse leaves Gwen for his younger intern and leaving her with almighty bills, Gwen is at a loss and decides to head to New York to create a new life for herself and young daughter Maddie and get away from the paparazzi who are wanting to hear her side of the story. Reade is Jesse’s former friend who has always had a thing for Gwen, but as she was Jesse’s Girl, he stayed away keeping a safe distance, even though he was always attracted to her.

Reade comes to Gwen’s rescue by offering her a place to stay whilst she tries to get her life in order and during this short time together that the pair become closer and confide in their feelings.

This is a great book to curl up with and read. Both Gwen and Reade are fiery and passionate people and when they come together, sparks literally fly. I loved Gwen, she’s’ smart, sassy and completely unaware of her beauty and it’s effect on Reade which makes for funny reading as Reade tries to control himself around her and hide his true feelings.

A steamy story filled with attitude and sass, ‘Jesse’s Girl’ is a fun and romantic story with witty dialogue, great characters and shows that with a little bit of patience, good things comes to those who wait.

You can buy ‘Jesse’s Girl’ from Amazon.

My One True North By Milly Johnson

My One True NorthMilly Johnston is back on our bookshelves with witty and poignant story about lost love and new beginnings.

Laurie and Pete should never have met. But fate has pushed them together for a reason. Six months ago, on the same night, Laurie and Pete both lost their partners. Struggling to manage the grief, they join the same counselling group – and meet each other. From their sadness, Pete and Laurie find happiness growing and they sense a fresh new beginning. Except, the more they talk, the more they begin to spot the strange parallels in their stories. Then Pete discovers a truth that changes everything. But, as surely as a compass points north, some people cannot be kept apart.

The story is primarily seen from the perspectives of recently bereaved people Laurie and Pete, who’s partners were tragically killed in a car accident. Now, months later the pair of them are trying to deal with their loss and with the help of their friends join a group for people dealing with grief. The group is lead by Molly, a kind woman who helps people deal with losses after the death of her own partner. In this group we meet a range of characters who are recovering from the loss of people and pets and the impacts that these deaths have had on their lives. The people are an interesting collective who are at different stages of their journey and are there to offer support and friendship when things get tough.

I adored this book and absorbed it in one sitting and was disappointed in myself for not reading it sooner. Pete and Laurie are two fantastic lead characters, both are united in grief and are heartbroken for the lives that were tragically taken from them. As the pair of them join the group, we see them tentatively embark on a new friendship and an understanding as they both share their grief and stories. It’s lovely to join them on their brave steps of making first solo cinema trips, dates and adventures together. As the story progresses we see that the pair have more in common than they could have ever imagined and that the lives they were leading, were far from perfect.

The story is a tender and poignant one that focuses on loss and how different people deal with it but with every bittersweet moment in the book, Milly delivers some wit with her Yorkshire humour that brightens the reader up. Having sadly experienced her own loss in the last year with the death of her father, Milly’s writing is reflective and tender with a special insight on grief.

The story sees the return of ‘The Daily Trumpet’ the local newspaper that is always printing apologies for errors in articles, whether it’s a wrong name or an incorrect letter to a word that gives a story a completely different angle. Alan, the poor the editor is regularly using creative and colourful language to describe his staff and the situations and these scenes with Alan genuinely make for hilarious moments.

‘My One Truth North’ is another wonderful story from Milly that delivers laughs, tears and new friendships, filled with warmth and charm, this is another stunning story from Yorkshire’s finest author.

You can buy ‘My One True North’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.